South Bend Symphony to feature local composers’ musical responses to Seurat’s “Grande Jatte” painting

Posted on: January 4, 2022

Music Director Alastair Willis (in photo) and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra will spotlight local composers in a concert this week.

“South Bend Symphony Orchestra Music Director Alastair Willis has conducted a vast variety of concert programs … but, he says, he has never previously taken part in a presentation structured like ‘Celebrate Local: A Sunday Afternoon with Music and Art,’ ” writes Jack Walton in Monday’s (1/3) South Bend Tribune (IN). “On Jan. 9 … Willis will direct the SBSO in performances of works by … local composers, each of whom wrote a composition based on some dimension of the 1886 masterpiece of Georges Seurat, ‘Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.’ … The concert opens with two short segments from Gabriel Fauré’s ‘Masques et Bergamasques’ suite [followed by] the local composers’ works. Each piece is around three minutes in duration.” Featured composers include Jorge Muñiz, Marjorie Rusche, Zae Munn, Jessica Carter, John Liberatore, Eli Kahn, and Camilla Tassi. “Tragically, one of the composers will not be present for the concert…. Carmen-Helena Téllez was working up until recently, but her cancer took a drastic turn in late fall and she died Dec. 10. The SBSO plans to dedicate the Jan. 9 concert to her and life’s work, including her composition for the concert, ‘A Dance for Seurat.’ ”