Boulder Symphony’s Shakespeare triple-threat: Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and world premiere

Posted on: November 21, 2017

“Devin Patrick Hughes had some tough choices to make,” writes Peter Alexander in Thursday’s (11/16) Boulder Weekly (Colo.). “The conductor of the Boulder Symphony wanted to do a concert celebrating music inspired by Shakespeare, but … how to choose just one concert’s worth? In the end he settled on two familiar 19th-century scores—Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture—and one new work, a setting of Sonnet 54 commissioned from CU graduate Elizabeth Comninellis … [for a Nov. 18] program [entitled] ‘Shakespeare’s Potion.’ … ‘We didn’t want to do a five-hour academy,’ Hughes says, laughing. ‘We were trying to look at masterpieces, music that was monumental in highlighting Shakespeare as a storyteller.’ … Hughes and the symphony performed another piece by Comninellis, the premiere of her As Lightening Flashes, last spring. ‘The audience really loved it,’ Hughes says. ‘We wanted to offer her [a place] in an all-Shakespeare concert.’ ” Comninellis said she chose Shakespeare’s Sonnet 54 because she “didn’t want to pick one that had already been set to music many times, and this one … spoke to me the most…. The sonnet is about virtue and lasting beauty.”

Posted November 21, 2017