A new American music creation
Two widely acclaimed contemporary peers - American composer Dan Visconti and the classical music rock stars of string quintet Sybarite5 - will premiere the first work composed for string quintet and orchestra, Beatbox, To be debuted by the South Carolina Philharmonic as part of a consortium with the Duluth Superior Symphony of Minnesota and Midlands Symphony Orchestra of Michigan, the performance is scheduled for March 14th, 2015.
Under the direction of charismatic and innovative Music Director Morihiko Nakahara, the SC Phil has had opportunities to commission and even premiere the works of American composers - but this commission is different. This is the first time the orchestra will have the chance to combine the classical/bluegrass/rock style of Visconti with an ensemble of equal style and incredible virtuosity. Visconti and Sybarite5 have worked together before, and while this piece promises to have a folk music influence from Visconti's Virginia upbringing, it is being written specifically for Sybarite5 and will capture the group's energy and freewheeling musical spirit.
The SC Phil is excited to support an American composer through this commission. Beyond this performance, we hope to not only increase the visibility of contemporary orchestral music and American composers, but to encourage other orchestras around America (and around the world would be nice, too), to perform this incredible musical work.
About the composer
Dan Visconti (b. 1982) composes concert music infused with the directness of expression and maverick spirit of the American vernacular. His compositions often explore the rough timbres, propulsive rhythms, and improvisational energy characteristic of jazz, bluegrass, and rock. Visconti studied composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music. His compositions have earned him great honors such as the Rome Prize, Berlin Prize fellowships, and the Bearns Prize from Columbia University. Visconti's calendar is jam-packed with performances of his works. The South Carolina Philharmonic will be proud to premiere Visconti's new creation.
About the performers
Sybarite5 is a New-York based string quintet that was formed at the Aspen Music Festival in 2008. In additional to classical repertoire, Sybartie5 also specializes in playing rock and roll. Sybarite5 was the first string quintet to ever win the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and the individual musicians are just as incredible as the group as a whole. Check out this live performance of Sybarite5 playing another Dan Visconti composition, "Black Bend".
About the Piece
The inspiration for Dan Visconti’s new concerto for Sybarite5 is America’s rich heritage of folk and vernacular styles. Titled Beatbox, the piecewill be a journey across a varied musical landscape colored by lyricism, directness of expression, and rhythmic drive. The music will reflect the energy and free-wheeling spirit of improvisation and is sure to end in a bang. Beatbox will show off Sybarite5 both as a unit and through emphasis on individual solo playing, with the orchestra’s backbeat propelling the work forward. A rich palette of timbres and special playing techniques will infuse the music with the raw, virtuosic character of improvised styles. Above all, the audience will be drawn in with a work that is fresh, accessible, and relevant.
Risks and challenges
While the SC Phil supports contemporary American composers and would like to participate in at least one commission or consortium annually, the costs involved are in addition to those of putting a performance on stage. With the Visconti, we are also bringing in a string quintet, which involves additional fees, transportation and lodging. While we are able to raise a portion of this through traditional fundraising, we do not have quite enough in our budget to cover the full cost of this endeavor. A successful kickstarter campaign will ensure that we meet our expenses, and give us the confidence to continue to make projects like this possible!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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