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22 May 2020

World Premiere: Fanfare of Hope and Solidarity

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One of our favorite living composers, Augusta Read Thomas, has generously shared her time and talent to compose a new piece for the Utah Symphony musicians to premiere on the USUO YouTube Channel.

Music Director Thierry Fischer called Augusta in April 2020 to invite her to create a new, four-minute fanfare that could be performed by the Utah Symphony, with the stipulation that each musician would be performing alone from their homes. This initiative was was begun by Clovis Lark, Principal Librarian of the Utah Symphony, at the urging of Maestro Fischer. Clovis and Augusta discussed general parameters for the planned composition prior to Fischer’s phone call. Fanfare of Hope and Solidarity was composed in late April and early May and it was a mere two weeks from that phone call until the time that Augusta delivered a full orchestral score and set up orchestral parts. (Clearly Augusta and her engraver had very little sleep that fortnight!)

Certain limitations exist simply due to the nature of how the music will be premiered. As one example, Augusta was only able to write for a very few, small percussion instruments which happened to be stored in the homes of the percussionists. The composition, which features the brass section of the Utah Symphony, is majestic, optimistic, blazing, and passionate, yet, in the center of the piece, a robust expressive an eloquent lyrical passage unfolds a range of emotions. The composition ends as if reaching skyward—affirming and hopeful—as bells’ resonance hangs in the air like sunlight ripples.

“I believe music feeds our souls.  Unbreakable is the power of art to build community. Humanity has and will always work together to further music’s flexible, diverse capacity and innate power. The magnificence and energy of massed musical resources, such as an orchestra, are humbling, inspiring, and exemplify hope, solidarity and teamwork.”

— Augusta Read Thomas

Map of Form - Fanfare of Hope and Solidarity

A video to accompany the music was created by Andrea Peterson. Utah Symphony musicians recorded the music in their homes, and audio engineering was completed by Stoker White and Funk Studios. “Fanfare of Hope and Solidarity” is published by Nimbus Music Publishing.


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