Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music will launch a season-long, multi-genre festival, “Music: Truth to Power,” with a September 25 concert featuring the NEC Philharmonia, led by Hugh Wolff, in the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s Concerto for Orchestra (from Marco Polo). Among other highlights of the festival—spotlighting music as an expression of social, political, and artistic change—are lectures on Anne Frank and the Holocaust, paired with performances of James Whitbourn’s 2005 Annelies, for soprano soloist, choir, and instrumentalists; Joseph Schwantner’s New Morning for the World, for large orchestra and narrator, featuring words of Martin Luther King, Jr.; music of the French and American revolutions; and Karel Husa’s Music for Prague 1968, about the crushing of Czechslovakia’s Prague Spring reform movement. Other music to be performed as part of the festival includes Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 (“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”), Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 2 (“To October”), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde (“music that revolutionized compositional history”). In February, there will be a two-day symposium, “Abibrimma! Sons of Africa, Rise Up!: A Celebration of Ghanaian composer Dr. Ephraim Amu,” with performances, workshops, and scholarly presentations.

Posted September 10, 2013