On May 4, James Lee III travels to Lima, Peru for the premiere of his new Sinfonia de Esperanza (Symphony No. 2, “Visions of Hope”) performed by the University of the Peruvian Adventist Union Orchestra (UPeU). Music director Delmar Freire conducts Lee’s 30-minute, four-movement work.
“Sinfonia de Esperanza’s title means ‘Visions of Hope,’” Lee shares, “and it was composed as a gift to the Peruvian Union Adventist University Orchestra in celebration of their 100th anniversary. Its four movements characterize various aspects of the history and heritage of the university and its people. It’s good to be able to collaborate with Delmar Freire on such an important project. I first met him at Andrews University around 1995. He is a great conductor who has a lot of passion for the music and a great attention to detail.”
Lee continues. “The inspiration for the first movement, entitled ‘Aspirations,’ expresses the historical aspirations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church community’s desire to build an Adventist university and educate young people in the Lima, Peru area, around 1919. The second movement, ‘Heritage,’ explores aspects of Peruvian indigenous culture — the people, melodies, and Inca rhythms. This can be heard especially with the appearance of the famous Peruvian song ‘El Cóndor Pasa,’ (‘The Condor Passes,’) and the anthem of the university. In the third movement, ‘Rejoice,’ there are moments of rejoicing. The last movement, ‘Final Graduation,’ begins with a celebratory dance followed by the final bars which start wistfully and then continue to grow into a splendor and grandeur that evoke emotions of hope and accomplishments destined for the future. The famous Adventist Hymn ‘We Have This Hope’ is both hinted at and quoted in this movement, which ends triumphantly.”