“March Madness” is here and Nancy Galbraith’s calendar is full! There’s so much happening this month including a world premiere.
Strange Travels — Galbraith’s new chamber orchestra work — premiered on March 1st as Daniel Nesta Curtis conducted the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Music Ensemble. “The title,” Galbraith explains, “alludes to the sensation of motion imparted by the music, through two aural landscapes of an unfamiliar, almost otherworldly nature. The first movement is a mostly fast-paced journey through a frontier of orchestral textures and colors. The second movement is slower and dreamier, with recurring accents from the electric string pizzacatos.” The program also featured the composer’s Three Preludes for Piano performed by Rishi Merchandani.
March brings several concerts of Galbraith’s music for winds and chamber ensemble. March 8th offers two performances: Washington’s Landing receives a hearing by the Thornton Community Band (CO) led by Jon Borodach; and the Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble (Hampton, VA) features Danza de los Duendes conducted by Bill Garlette, followed by another performance the next day. On the 11th, Galbraith’s with brightness round about it will be featured on the west coast when Danielle Gaudry conducts the California State University East Bay Wind Symphony. Galbraith’s chamber music is a favorite of many ensembles. On March 13th, Trifecta! Ensemble (comprised of clarinetist Lori Baruth, bassoonist David Oyen, and pianist Chialing Hsieh) perform the composer’s Aeolian Muses at Morehead State University (KY).
On March 21, Donald Runnicles conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony’s first performances of the composer’s orchestral work Euphonic Blues. Written in honor of Carnegie Mellon University’s centennial, the work premiered last season and was performed by the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic Orchestra led by Ronald Zollman. Subsequent concerts follow on the 23rd and 24th.
Galbraith rounds out the month with the Bodiography Contemporary Ballet’s production of “Whispers of Light,” as Thomas Octave conducts the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra on the 28th and 29th. Written for chamber ensemble and three treble voices, the one-hour, two-movement ballet premiered last season by the company and features choreography by artistic director Maria Caruso. “Whispers of Light” was written as a tribute to Pittsburgh’s Highmark Caring Place, an advocacy center that champions the cause of grieving children through its supportive, healing system. The ballet explores the grieving process and emotional struggle that children experience when losing a loved one. “Whispers of Light” is a poignant exploration of human loss, the strength to move forward, and the undeniable power of human connection. Preview a ballet excerpt here.