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New commissions mark 9/11 anniversary

Two new works have been commissioned to mark the ten-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York.
They will aim to reflect the tragedy of the event of one decade ago, highlight the emotions of the events that have taken place since and illuminate what the future might hold for those affected.
First to be premiered is Not in Our Time by composer Richard Blackford. The work will be performed at the climax of two concerts, the Cheltenham Festival on September 11th and the Lighthouse in Poole on September 13th.
It has been commissioned by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and explores the theme of war declared in the name of religion. The piece uses at its focal point speeches from presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, as well as 11th century texts of the First Crusade.
Blackford said of the work ahead of its premiere: “Perhaps it’s through poetry and song that we can look unflinchingly at this tragedy of our time and offer some hope of reconciliation for the next generation.”
The special Cheltenham Festival event will feature solos from tenor Paul Nilon and baritone Stephen Gadd and will be conducted by Gavin Carr.
On September 30th, John Corigliano’s One Sweet Morning will receive its world premiere at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. It will be performed by the New York Philharmonic and conducted by Alan Gilbert, with Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe.
Composer Corigliano explained his apprehensions about the idea of composing a piece for 9/11.
“How can one hear music of any dramatic surges without imagining these events accompanying the music – or vice versa?” he said.
“Inevitably, the piece would become a tone poem of that unimaginable day – something I never intended and did not want.”
He explained that he chose four poems from different age and countries to show that 9/11 was not just about one day but has continued over the decade and the piece ends with the dream of a world without war.

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