On November 24, Viennese audiences will be treated to the world premiere of Judith Lang Zaimont’s Pure, Cool (Water) Symphony No. 4, performed by the Janacek Philharmonie Ostrava at the Wiener Konzerthaus, conducted by Niels Muus. Commissioned and supported by The Sorel Organization, Pure, Cool (Water) is a 43-minute work written in honor of the composer’s late father whose career as a chemical engineer helped provide international communities with quality resources for drinking water. Pure, Cool (Water) is structured in five movements: “The River,” “Ice,” “Rainshower,” “The Tarn,” and “Ocean;” and, each movement can be excerpted and performed individually.
“Why did [we] choose Judith Lang Zaimont’s Fourth Symphony to be premiered in Europe?”
“…My father’s life-work focused on enhancing water quality around the world and increasing ready access to this essential natural resource. [It was also] an important family concern. Since moving to Arizona in 2005, my attention returned to problems of water availability in the Southwest US and globally. It was natural in my Fourth Symphony, Pure, Cool (Water), I determined to explore the varieties of water in its several naturally-occurring states…” — Judith Lang Zaimont
Judy Cope, Executive Director of The Sorel Organization, comments on the upcoming premiere. “It’s an interesting question…It began back in 2007 when [we] inaugurated [our] first Choral Composition Contest. We’ve had hundreds of applications for this contest each year since but our finalists seemed to have one common thread amongst them — at some point in their careers they studied with Judith Zaimont. Her name re-emerged when the composers came to New York to premiere their works. The finalists described Judith as [the] sort of teacher [who saw that] if you were hungry to unfold the mystery of composition and orchestration, you had attracted the person that could unlock your gift.”
Cope continues, “Over the next few years I paid attention when Judith’s name showed up on concert invitations and I went to hear her work. One day I received an email from her in which she introduced herself and [noted] a concern about something. I was so honored to be [conversing] with her that I quickly changed the subject to what Judith’s [own] goals were. I asked her if she had a bucket list-goal and she described Pure, Cool, Water, her 4th Symphony, written in honor of her father’s [professional legacy]. One of The Sorel Organization’s goals is to open the door [for a female composer] to a reputable European orchestra. As I thought about the ultimate place any composer would want to premiere their work, Beethoven and Brahms came to mind [along with the] Wiener Konzerthaus. This [premiere] is the honor we wanted to bestow to Judith — the woman that has pioneered composition for so many through not only her own compositions but [through those of] her students.”