“A fanfare, a fantasy and the thrilling evocation of ‘freude’—joy—open the Grand Teton Music Festival’s 2016 series of orchestral weekend concerts,” writes Richard Anderson in Wednesday’s (7/6) Jackson Hole News and Guide (Wyoming). The festival commissioned For Love of the Mountains from “composer Aaron Jay Kernis on the occasion of Music Director Donald Runnicles’ 10th season. The eight-minute piece—written for brass, high winds, percussion and double basses—is more for Runnicles than about him, but there are some unmistakable nods to the maestro, who will conduct the premiere. ‘I started thinking about Scottish music,’ Kernis [said]. ‘I found this beautiful tune, set to a famous poem by Robert Burns, “My Heart’s in the Highlands.” ’ It got Kernis thinking of music from the Edinburgher’s native land as well as the mountains of his summer domain…. Runnicles said he was proud, touched and moved by the gift of a commissioned tune. ‘I’m one of Aaron’s biggest fans,’ he said.” The program also includes Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Collegiate Chorale of Scotland and vocal soloists.

Posted July 8, 2016