Illinois Symphony to premiere “Jefferson”

Posted on: March 11, 2010

In Thursday’s (3/11) State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois), Brian Mackey writes, “This weekend, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra will play the world premiere of a new work: ‘Jefferson, In His Own Words,’ by Judith Shatin. Longtime TV newsman Bill Kurtis will join the ensemble to narrate Thomas Jefferson’s words, which are integral to the piece. Music director Karen Lynne Deal will conduct the orchestra in the premiere Friday night in Bloomington and again at 8 p.m. Saturday in Springfield, at Sangamon Auditorium. Shatin’s work was commissioned by the ISO along with three other ensembles: the Richmond and Virginia symphonies and the Charlottesville & University Orchestra. Saturday’s program is to include Corelli’s Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 4; and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73. But attention has been focused on the premiere of Shatin’s piece. … The work consists of four parts: ‘Political Passions,’ ‘Head and Heart,’ ‘Justice Will Not Sleep’ and ‘The Freedom of Reason.’ In that second movement, ‘Head and Heart,’ Shatin drew from two of the many letters Jefferson wrote throughout his life: one to his granddaughter and the other to Maria Cosway, on whom Jefferson seemed to have ‘quite a crush,’ Shatin said.”

Posted March 11, 2010