Civic Orchestra of Tucson premieres “Soliloquy” in memory of RBG, virtually

Posted on: May 18, 2021

“Tucson composer Bob Atwell turned his attention to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in his latest work, ‘Soliloquy,’ which the volunteer Civic Orchestra of Tucson premiered in a virtual performance,” writes Cathalena Burch in Friday’s (5/14) Arizona Daily Star. “It is the second piece in remembrance of Ginsburg, who died last September, to have a world premiere in Tucson. Earlier this month, the Tucson Desert Song Festival hosted the world premiere of the Jake Heggie song cycle ‘What I Miss the Most.’ ‘Soliloquy’ is Atwell’s sixth composition since the COVID-19 pandemic began…. In his latest piece, Atwell kept COVID-19 social distancing protocols in mind, dividing the piece into five parts to be played by brass and woodwinds quintets and string ensembles. The groups recorded their parts separately, with Civic Orchestra of Tucson Conductor Charles Bontrager leading them individually, and Atwell mixed the recordings into a single performance…. Atwell described the piece … as alternating between the energy of the brass and woodwinds to a soft melody from the strings…. ‘There’s the sadness, which to me is losing this great mind, this powerful human being. And the lyric beauty of what she did accomplish in her life,’ he said.”