A decade later:
A Colorado premiere laments the tragedy of Sept. 11
Many of the world’s most prized creations are the result of an artistic response to significant events and personalities. Consider, for example, Beethoven’s Eroica symphony, originally composed with Napoleon in mind.
In the United States, the events of Sept. 11, 2001, have inspired a number of artistic creations. One such work is composer J. Mark Scearce’s award-winning This Thread, a single-movement musical setting of Toni Morrison’s poem “The Dead of September 11.”
The Lamont Symphony Orchestra presented the Colorado premiere of This Thread in February 2011 in conjunction with the University’s Bridges to the Future programming. An annual lecture series that explores important issues from varying perspectives, Bridges to the Future committed its 2010–11 programming to an examination of Sept. 11 and its aftermath. Events were free and open to the public.
The premiere, presented at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, showcased the vocals of Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Judith Christin and the virtuosity of Yumi Hwang-Williams, a violinist with the Lamont School of Music faculty and concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
This Thread was followed by another piece that marries music and history, Dmitri Shostakovich’s famous Symphony No. 7, also known as the “Leningrad Symphony.” Written to condemn Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union and the 900-day siege of Leningrad during World War II, Symphony No. 7 came to embody the resilience of the Russian people.
The two pieces, conducted by Lawrence Golan, afforded concertgoers a rare opportunity to experience a 20th and 21st century artistic response to war and terror.
It also fulfilled what Golan considers the Lamont School of Music’s obligation to young musicians.
“We have a pedagogical responsibility to students and to the orchestra,” Golan said. “Specifically, that means I, as the conductor, need to include standard orchestral repertoire important for musical and orchestral development in every concert. At the same time, it’s my duty to introduce students to contemporary music and styles because what’s being written today is often in a different musical language and different musical notation than music from the classical and romantic periods. This concert satisfied both of these pedagogical obligations.”