Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons with composer Carlos Simon at the Feb. 9 world premiere of Simon’s new work. Photo by Aram Boghosian.

“This week the BSO made history with a knock-your-socks-off world premiere of American composer Carlos Simon’s innovative Four Black American Dances,” writes Julie Ingelfinger in Saturday’s (2/11) Boston Musical Intelligencer. Also on the program were Ernest Bloch’s “Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque with the inspirational young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and a rich take on Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Washington-born and Atlanta-raised Simon warmly addressed the audience, noting the background for each dance, and his hope to convey disparate Black experiences with the depth and emotion of each. This stirring commission by the BSO, Music Director Andris Nelsons and the New Works Fund of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, focuses the centrality of dance as an expression of connection, ritual, celebration, and worship in Black culture. Certainly, this 14-minute work will have staying power … Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony … as the closer seems a nod to Simon, whose grandmother fostered his budding childhood interest in classical music [with] a CD that included the Seventh’s Allegretto… The BSO is succeeding in its appeal to young, more diverse audiences by introducing new works and featuring important young composers and artists and pairing these meaningfully with older works.”