Concert Review: Omaha Symphony premieres Daugherty concerto

Posted on: March 30, 2010

“The infamous ‘Trail of Tears’ has gone down as one of the darkest episodes in American history,” writes John Pitcher in Saturday’s (3/27) Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska). “In the winter of 1838, about 15,000 Cherokee Indians were forcibly relocated from Tennessee to Oklahoma. More than 4,000 men, women and children died from exposure and disease. That tragic march served as the inspiration for ‘Trail of Tears,’ composer Michael Daugherty’s new flute concerto. Its world-premiere performance was Friday night at the Holland Performing Arts Center, courtesy of flutist Amy Porter and the Omaha Symphony. … The three-movement concerto lasts about 22 minutes and is programmatic, meaning it is meant to be a kind of sonic narrative. Daugherty’s tale proves to be thoughtful, sensitive and imaginative. … The concerto could not have had a more auspicious debut. Porter, a charismatic performer, was focused, flexible and intensely in the moment. She tossed off fiendishly difficult passages as if they were child’s play and performed lyrical passages with heart-rending emotion. Music director Thomas Wilkins and the Omaha Symphony provided supple and sensitive support. For their efforts, Daugherty, Porter, Wilkins and the orchestra received an extended ovation.” Also on the program were Dvorák’s Carnival Overture and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1.

Posted March 30, 2010