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The Richmond Symphony Transports You around the World with Altria Masterworks: Influence of the World: The Tucker Boatwright Concert

March 19, 2019




The Richmond Symphony Transports You around the World with Altria Masterworks:

Influence of the World: The Tucker Boatwright Concert  

Altria Masterworks: Influence of the World: The Tucker-Boatwright Concert
Saturday, April 13 at 8pm and Sunday, April 14 at 3pm
Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts

March 19, 2019 – Richmond, VA: As a grand finale to the University of Richmond’s Tucker-Boatwright Festival, the Richmond Symphony and Chorus will present a concert of works inspired by non-Western traditions. This concert features the world premiere of a new work for chorus and orchestra by prestigious contemporary composer Reena Esmail, as well as pieces by Debussy and Ravel. Joined by the University of Richmond’s Schola Cantorum and Women’s Chorale, this program will transport you around the world through the power of live music.


Indian-American composer Reena Esmail joins the Richmond Symphony for the second time this season. Working between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, Esmail brings communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. Through the marriage of celebrating distinct trademarks and blending musical traditions, Esmail cultivates a range of new and interesting sounds in her works. In recent seasons, Esmail has worked with the Kronos Quartet, Albany Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Salastina Music Society, SOLI, and American Composers Orchestra. Her work is performed regularly throughout the US and abroad, and has been programmed at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Centre in London, Schloss Esterhazy in Hungary, and throughout India.  This concert features the world premiere of her piece, She Will Transform You. Esmail holds degrees in composition from The Juilliard School (BM’05) and the Yale School of Music (MM’11, MMA’14, DMA’18).


Debussy describes his three Nocturnes in almost painterly terms: Nuages (Clouds) renders the immutable aspect of the sky and the slow, solemn motion of the clouds, fading away in gray tones slightly tinged with white. Fetes (Festivals) gives us the vibrating, dancing rhythm of the atmosphere with sudden flashes of light. But the background remains persistently the same: the festival with its blending of music and luminous dust participating in the rhythm. Sirenes (Sirens) depicts the sea and its innumerable rhythm. Among the waves, silvered by moonlight is heard the mysterious song of the Sirens as they laugh and pass on. Work on the Nocturnes was not easy for Debussy. His personal life was a wreck. In financial trouble and broken up from his longtime mistress, he wrote, “The three Nocturnes have been infected by my private life, first full of hope, then full of despair, and then full of nothing!”

Like Debussy, Ravel is classified as an impressionist composer. His Rapsodie espagnole, is saturated with musical color; almost as breathtaking as the color of the impressionist painters. There is a certain vagueness of form in the music that is reminiscent of Monet and Turner. “Suggestion and atmosphere” are key ideas for the musical impressionists. Ravel’s fascination with Spanish culture is heard throughout the piece, permeated with the flavors of Spanish music.

In the late 1920s, the Canadian composer Colin McPhee “quite by accident heard [a] few gramophone records that were to change [his] life completely. The clear, metallic sounds were like the stirring of a thousand bells, delicate, confused, with a sensuous charm, a mystery that was quite overpowering.” McPhee moved to Bali where he quickly absorbed the culture. He started incorporating Balinese materials into his own music. Tabuh-Tabuhan was his first large-scale orchestral work to use Balinese musical material. Interested in fusing western orchestral traditions with Balinese motifs, McPhee considers it a purely personal work.


Tickets start at $10 for adults and are free for active military members and for children 18 and under. Visit richmondsymphony.com or call 804.788.1212 for more information.

The Masterworks series is sponsored by Altria. The media sponsor for this series is Richmond Times-Dispatch. The concert sponsor is Brickstreet Insurance. The concert partner is University of Richmond.

Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 8:00 PM

Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 3:00 PM


Richmond Symphony

Masterworks 7


Steven Smith, Conductor

Joanne Kong, Piano

Paul Hanson, Piano

Richmond Symphony Chorus

Erin. R. Freeman, Director

University of Richmond Schola Cantorum

Dr. Jeffrey Riehl, Conductor

University of Richmond Women’s Chorale

David Pedersen, Conductor




Ayin Raksi “Ritual Dance”





she will transform you (World Premiere)

Richmond Symphony Chorus

     Erin R. Freeman, Director


     University of Richmond Schola Cantorum

     Dr. Jeffrey Riehl, Conductor


     University of Richmond Women’s Chorale

     David Pedersen, Conductor





I. Nuages (Clouds)

II. Fêtes (Festivals)

III. Sirènes (Sirens)

Women of the Richmond Symphony Chorus

Erin R. Freeman, Director





Tabuh-Tabuhan (Toccata for Orchestra and 2 Pianos)

          I. Ostinato

II. Nocturne

III. Finale

          Joanne Kong, Piano

          Paul Hanson, Piano




Rapsodie espagnole

I.  Prélude à la nuit (Prelude to the Night)

II.  Malagueña

III.  Habanera

IV.  Feria (Festival)


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About the Richmond Symphony

Kicking off its 61st Season in September 2018, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy live concerts and radio broadcasts. The Symphony also provides educational outreach programs to over 55,000 students and teachers each year. The Symphony was recently named one of 21 American orchestras selected as a leader in orchestra innovation by the League of American Orchestras through its Futures Fund Initiative. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.richmondsymphony.com for more information.


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804.788.4717 ext. 121

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Director of Advancement and Patron Communications
804.788.4717 ext. 120