New orchestral work attempts to see war from soldier’s perspective

Posted on: June 11, 2012

Thursday (6/7) on the New York Times blog At War, James Dao writes, “War, with its many horrors and heroes, has been a powerful muse to composers from Beethoven to Copland to Glass. … This one—titled ‘Dreams of the Fallen’—will try to convey the experience from the bottom up, exploring the impact of war on individual soldiers. The composer, Jake Runestad, said he planned to divide the piece for solo piano, orchestra and chorus into three parts, symbolizing the three phases of war from a soldier’s perspective: pre-deployment preparations, life in a combat zone and the post-deployment return to society. … Text for the chorus will be drawn from the poetry of Brian Turner, an infantryman who served in Iraq with a Stryker Brigade and author of a highly regarded collection, ‘Here, Bullet.’ The pianist, Jeffrey Biegel, has been the moving force in raising funds for the project through Kickstarter and encouraging symphonies to perform the work when it is finished next year. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra has agreed to have a debut for the piece in New Orleans around Veterans Day in 2013 at the National World War II Museum, which will be opening a new wing. Several other orchestras, including the Dayton Philharmonic and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, have also signed on to perform the work following its premiere.”

Posted June 11, 2012