“Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra continue the SSO’s 75th anniversary season on Saturday, Feb. 2, with the first in a series of concerts featuring American women composers,” writes Clifton Noble Jr. in Wednesday’s (1/23) Republican (Springfield, Mass.). “Amy Beach, Joan Tower, and Jennifer Higdon are represented—along with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s fantastic tone-poem Scheherazade….  ‘As I was looking for new music to program this season,’ Rhodes recalled, ‘so many women’s names emerged, and I thought, why not bring this sort genealogy of American women composers together with the story of Scheherazade, a woman in a decidedly different place.’ … Bal Masque, a waltz in the style of Johann Strauss Jr. and his contemporaries, was written by Amy Beach as a solo piano piece, published as Op. 22 in 1894 and subsequently orchestrated…. Rhodes and the SSO will play two Tower works … Sequoia … and her 6th Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman…. Rhodes and the SSO will play Higdon’s Blue Cathedral … ‘one of the loveliest new sound worlds I’ve discovered …,’ Rhodes said…. ‘The combination of chimes and other church-bell-imitating instruments all blend together into one of the most magical sounds I will have ever heard.’ ”

Posted January 25, 2019

In photo: Jennifer Higdon