The Boston Modern Orchestra Project needs your help to record two historic works for the theremin from our October 4, 2019 concert program: the first work written for the theremin and orchestra, Joseph Schillinger’s First Airphonic Suite, and the most recent concerto written for it, Dalit Warshaw’s Sirens: A Concerto for Theremin and Orchestra, dedicated in memoriam to her former mentor, the legendary thereminist Clara Rockmore.
Although the theremin has long been a staple of sci-fi soundtracks (such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, Spellbound, and Ghostbusters) and experimentalists such as Meredith Monk and indie band Portishead, this earliest of electronic instruments has only slowly developed a place within orchestral and concert music. While BMOP has been a significant proponent of the theremin, we have yet to record and release music for the theremin; this will be a historic addition to the BMOP/sound catalog.
As a champion of 20th and 21st century sonic innovations, BMOP has had a long relationship with the theremin. BMOP first brought the theremin to the Jordan Hall stage in its second season, with “Interface” in May, 1997. This concert featured theremin soloist Lydia Kavina performing Bohuslav Martinu’s Fantasy for Theremin, Oboe, Strings, and Piano (1944) and her own composition, The Seasons of the Year. Lydia was a great choice for our first theremin concert, as she was the great-niece of inventor Leon Theremin and his last student.
Fifteen years later, we invited Dalit Warshaw to perform BMOP Composer-in-Residence Andrew Norman’s Air: Concerto for Theremin on our 2012 concert “Strange Bedfellows,” a concert of “unexpected concertos.”
About the Featured Artists:
BMOP is also proud to have Carolina Eyck, one of the world’s great theremin virtuosos, on this recording. A student of Lydia Kavina, Carolina is a true theremin pioneer in her own right. She has developed and written a new method for learning and performing on the instrument. Carolina has also premiered a number of works, including pieces by Andrew Norman’s, Kalevi Aho, Jan Bilk, Fazil Say, and Regis Campo.
Composer Dalit Warshaw studied the theremin with Leon Theremin's legendary muse and collaborator, Clara Rockmore. In addition to her concerto Sirens, Dalit has increasingly included the theremin in her chamber music in an effort to help realize Clara Rockmore’s dream of the theremin becoming accepted and featured as a serious classical music instrument.
“When I first heard Clara play her theremin, her incomparable tone suggested a sonic mélange of violin and voice merged with the otherworldly, and spoke to my intensely romantic pre-adolescent soul, awakening within me a pensive nostalgia and deep yearning.” -Dalit Warshaw
Dalit's works have been performed by numerous orchestral ensembles, including the New York and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras (Zubin Mehta conducting), the Boston Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Albany Symphony and the Grand Rapids Symphony. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016. She then received an OPERA America Discovery Grant for her monodrama The Letters of Mademoiselle C., in addition to the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, given to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts. A full-time faculty member of the composition/theory department at the Boston Conservatory from 2004 to 2014, Warshaw obtained her doctorate in music composition from the Juilliard School, and also taught orchestration there from 2000 to 2005. Warshaw has held multiple residencies at the Yaddo and MacDowell Artist Colonies. She currently teaches on the composition faculties of CUNY- Brooklyn College and the Juilliard Evening Division. Her CD, Invocations, was released in January 2011 and is available on Albany Records.
Gil Rose is a conductor helping to shape the future of classical music. His dynamic performances and many recordings have garnered international critical praise. In 1996, Mr. Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the foremost professional orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing and recording symphonic music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He is an accomplished conductor of operatic work both nationally and abroad.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project is recognized as the premier orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music. BMOP celebrates 24 years this season. The orchestra was named Musical America's 2016 Ensemble of the Year and its signature CD label, BMOP/sound, has received six Grammy nominations. In a recent profile of BMOP, The New York Times stated that "the orchestra has become one of the most artistically valuable in the country for its support of music either new or so woefully neglected that it might as well be.
Risks and challenges
Since these two theremin works are already programmed on the opening concert of our 2019-2020 season, we have already booked the musicians and rehearsal time necessary for both a successful performance and recording session. All that is required is the funding to provide for the recording engineer, session time, and venue rental. While BMOP/sound has a proven track record, with over 65 CDs in its catalog, release schedules are always dependent on securing funds for all stages of production. We often run the risk of delaying releases due to lack of funds, thereby missing crucial post-performance promotional opportunities, as well as the growth of the composer and work’s reputation. Help us record and release these important theremin works on the heels of our successful October, 2019 live performance. Five of our CDs have been partially funded through crowdfunding, so we also have experience with getting full funding and delivering rewards. We are confident we can accomplish this project with your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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