Toronto Symphony to premiere violin concerto by Glass

Posted on: April 17, 2009

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto No. 2, The American Four Seasons, on December 9, 2009. Violinist Robert McDuffie will be soloist for the 37-minute work, which uses Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as a point of inspiration. The piece was co-commissioned by the TSO, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Musical Festival and School, Krennert Center for the Performing Arts at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. The London Philharmonic will perform the work in April 2010, and the U.S. premiere will take place in July 2010 at the Aspen Festival. Each performance of the work will feature an environmental light installation by Spencer Finch, best known for his work with fluorescent light (in March 2008 MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, exhibited his work). In addition, in fall 2010 McDuffie will play with and lead the Venice Baroque Orchestra during a 35-city U.S. tour presenting Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Glass’s The American Four Seasons side by side, using period instruments in the Vivaldi and modern instruments for the Glass. Filmmaker Oren Jacoby (Sister Rose’s Passion, The Shakespeare Sessions) will also make a documentary capturing the compositional and artistic process behind the creation of The American Four Seasons.

Posted April 17, 2009

Image courtesy of Spencer Finch Studio. Sunset, South Texas, 6/21/03, 2003, 16" x 40′, Fluorescent lights, filters.