In Thursday’s (6/25) Seattle Times, Tom Keogh writes, “One of the more nerve-wracking aspects of a composer’s life is waiting for the first public performance of a new piece. ‘It’s a funny feeling being on one coast, while preparations for the performance are on the other coast,’ says Aaron Jay Kernis, a week before his ‘Symphony of Meditations’ debuts Thursday with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra at Benaroya Hall. (‘Meditations,’ on a bill including Holst’s ‘The Planets,’ repeats Friday.) … ‘Meditations’ is Kernis’ first symphony in 18 years. The Pulitzer Prize-winner was 23 when his 1983 ‘Dreams of the Morning Sky’ premiered with the New York Philharmonic and resulted in national acclaim. Several years ago, Seattle Symphony artistic director Gerard Schwarz commissioned Kernis to write what would become ‘Meditations.’ Kernis decided on a prominent role for vocalists in the work, and drew upon sacred Hebrew texts written by 11th-century Spanish poet and philosopher Solomon ibn Gabirol. … ‘Symphony of Meditations’ will be performed by the orchestra, Seattle Symphony Chorale, and three soloists, including soprano Hyunah Yu, tenor Paul Karaitis and baritone Robert Gardner. Schwarz will conduct.”

Posted June 26, 2009