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August 25, 2009
Classical premieres keeping pace...but not in Sacramento


Orchestras continue to commission and perform new works despite the lagging economy.

Unfortunately, in 2009-10, the The Sacramento Philharmonic is not in the mix with its "California Composers" comissioned works series.

Last season the orchestra performed Dave and Chris Brubeck's "Ansel Adams:America" .

That co-comissioned work was part of the "California Composers" effort, which seeks to recognize composers, musicians and people who have made their mark in California.

Although those works have varied in quality and scope, the comissions put an indelible stamp on the orchestra, and provoked its audience, in turn.

A total of 90 North American orchestras will bring new works to the concert stage in 2009-2010 by performing the premieres of 212 compositions by 197 composers, according the League of Symphony Orchestras.

That's good news for classical music, whose evolution cannot happen without orchestras taking risks on new works.

Of the 212 new works to be done in North America, 179 will be world premieres, 24 American premieres, and 9 will be Canadian premieres.

The scheduled works span a broad range of styles and periods, from 19th-century German romantic composer Friedrich von Flotow's Piano Concerto No. 2, which gets its first American performance at the Carson City Symphony to Warren George's Armenian Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, which will debut at the Fresno Philharmonic.

Although the Sacramento Philharmonic will not offer any large world premieres this season, it will offer works that have not been played in Sacramento before, such as composer Reza Vali's Concerto for Ney and Orchestra next January. The orchestra will also premiere a set songs for gospel choir and orchestra by local pastor Alonzo Morris next May.

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