Boston Symphony to premiere Gandolfi’s Armenian-themed work for organ and orchestra

Posted on: March 26, 2015

In a report posted Monday (3/23) at Boston radio station WBUR, Keith Powers writes about Michael Gandolfi’s Ascending Light, which the Boston Symphony Orchestra and organist Oliver Latry will premiere March 26 under Music Director Andris Nelsons. “The BSO had originally conceived of a new organ work back in 2004, after the passing of Berj Zamkochian, the orchestra’s organist for nearly four decades. In an effort to remember both Zamkochian and his Armenian heritage, the BSO had approached the Gomidas Organ Fund, and the idea began to take shape. The BSO officially commissioned Gandolfi three years ago, during the waning days of the James Levine era…. And then, as the years passed, the centenary of the Armenian Genocide was approaching, and remembering all these events became part of the intent of the commission.” Gandolfi draws upon Armenian folk music and “tries to take advantage of the strengths and unique quality the organ can bring to orchestral performance. ‘I don’t really consider this a concerto in the Romantic sense,’ he says. ‘The soloist plays a lot, and he drives the piece.’ ”

Posted March 26, 2015