The , in conjunction with its tenth anniversary celebration concert on January 22, will perform the third movement of Hartford native Albert Hurwit’s Symphony No 1: Remembrance.
“This program’s theme reflects the ‘favorite movements/favorite moments’ requested by our audience from our first ten seasons,” said Richard Chiarappa, WHSO music director. “Premiering [the symphony in 2007] was a landmark, emotionally-charged experience for everyone involved – the musicians, the orchestra staff, myself, and the audience.”
Adds Ron Reisner, WHSO board president, “It was especially gratifying to have the opportunity to perform the work of someone who was born, raised, and continues to live in the area. Supporting local artists and musicians is part of the WHSO’s mission.”
Sunny Side Up Films, a film production and distribution company, will be on hand during the concert to record a segment for a documentary bringing Hurwit and his music to national attention.
Albert Hurwit was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1931. A graduate of Harvard College and Tufts Medical School, he has spent most of his professional life as physician. Except for three years as an unexceptional piano student, Hurwit had no formal music education. In 1986 he retired from his medical practice in order to dedicate himself to composing. He is self-taught and uses midi software and equipment to assist in his composing endeavors. His mentors are Robert Carl, composer and director of composition at the Hartt School of Music, and conductor Michael Lankester, former music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO).
Hurwit submitted his first work, Adagio for Orchestra, to the HSO. Lankester, whom Hurwit did not know at that time, selected it for concert performance and conducted the world premiere in 1997. On the basis of that performance music professionals and critics encouraged the composer to expand the piece into a full symphony, which was completed in 2002. The HSO, conducted by its new music director, Edward Cumming, performed the third movement in 2003. The complete symphony was premiered by the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2007, the Columbia Orchestra of Maryland in 2009 and the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra of Texas in 20120. It was recorded by the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, with the CD published by MSR Classics and distributed by Albany Records. The symphony depicts through its four movements the origin of Hurwit’s family in their eastward migration from Prague to Russia, their separation as forced by the Cossacks, their sadness and remembrances of the family, and ultimately their hope and freedom upon arrival in America.
The “Tenth Anniversary Celebration Concert” will be held Sunday January 22, 3:00 pm, at the Roberts Theater on the campus of , 170 Kingswood Road, West Hartford. This program was originally scheduled for October 30, 2011 but was postponed due to the snowstorm.
Symphony No. 1: Remembrance is available for purchase in both CD and MP3 formats at http://alberthurwit.com/