Berkeley Symphony to premiere Stucky song cycle based on texts by Milosz

Posted on: March 20, 2013

In Tuesday’s (3/19) San Jose Mercury News (California), Sue Gilmore writes, “The Berkeley Symphony, under music director Joana Carneiro, has boldly incorporated a commissioned world premiere from a contemporary composer on each of its programs this season and is about to conclude that admirable project with a work from Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Stucky, who has been the orchestra’s ‘Music Alive’ composer-in-residence this year. Stucky’s ‘The Stars and the Roses,’ a song cycle for tenor voice and orchestra, will close out Berkeley Symphony’s 2012-13 season in Zellerbach Hall on March 28, on a program that also includes Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E flat major. Carneiro’s only marching orders for this particular commission were that it be orchestral songs and that they be written for the American tenor Noah Stewart, with whom she had worked in London. So it was up to Stucky to come up with the text, and he selected a favorite writer, the late Czeslaw Milosz … Although his dark anti-Nazi poetry from the World War II era brought Milosz his first and perhaps most enduring fame, Stucky looked elsewhere in his body of work for inspiration. ‘I gravitated toward lyrical texts expressing happiness and acceptance,’ he writes in his program notes.”

Posted March 20, 2013