Seattle Symphony program, linking Walker’s Sinfonia No. 5 and Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony

Posted on: April 9, 2019

“Seattle audiences already know that the Seattle Symphony’s music director designate Thomas Dausgaard is a master at putting together repertoire and soloists in sometimes surprising configurations,” writes Melinda Bargreen in Saturday’s (4/6) Seattle Times. “His upcoming concerts April 11 and 13 in Benaroya Hall will bring together … Dvořák’s ‘New World’ (Symphony No. 9, composed in 1893); a relatively rarely heard concerto (Szymanowski’s folk-influenced Violin Concerto No. 2, from 1933) and an even rarer performance of George Walker’s 2016 Sinfonia No. 5 (‘Visions’)…. The Walker work, composed as a single long movement, features not only five singers in speaking parts, but also … video showing the coastline of his beloved Charleston, South Carolina…. Walker, a gifted composer, performer and professor who died last year at 96, was the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for music…. With his Sinfonia No. 5 (‘Visions’), he also found an outlet for his sorrow and horror at the 2015 massacre at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.” Dausgaard says the Dvořák symphony “ends in Major, but only at the very last moment, and on a chord that glides softly and mysteriously away into silence—not unlike the final dissonance in Walker!”

Posted April 9, 2019

In photo: composer George Walker. Photo by Frank Schramm