Boston Symphony Orchestra Premieres Carlos Simon’s ‘Four Black American Dances’
Carlos Simon’s Four Black American Dances receives its world premiere with Boston Symphony Orchestra on 9 to 12 February. Commissioned by BSO, Four Black American Dances highlights how dance is – and always has been – the fabric of social gatherings in Black American communities throughout the span of the country’s history.
The piece comprises four movements: Ring Shout, Waltz, Tap Dance, and Holy Dance, each of which explores the different musical elements that characterise these dances that are integral to Black American communities to this day. Conducted by Andris Nelsons, Simon’s new work is premiered at Symphony Hall Boston in a programme of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 and Bloch’s Schelomo, with cello solo from Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Carlos’ schedule for the remainder of the season sees another 6 world premieres. In Spring, Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center is host to two premieres: Songs of Separation with J’Nai Bridges and the NSO conducted by Noseda on 21 to 23 April, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Sing Up Late! in collaboration with Mo Willems and the WNO Cafritz Young Artists on 22 to 23 April. Following this, Detroit Symphony Orchestra will premiere the Troubled Water: Trombone Concerto on 5 to 7 May featuring Kenneth Thompkins, with Imani Winds and Shriver Hall Concert Series premiering wind quintet Giants on 14 May and Brooklyn Art Song Society premiering a brand-new work on 1 June. This season also sees the premiere of brea(d)th, a large-scale work commissioned and performed by Minnesota Orchestra in response to George Floyd’s murder that reflects on the systemic racism prevalent in the United States. With libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and conducted by Jonathan Taylor Rush, brea(d)th receives its world premiere on 18 to 20 May.