The Stockton Symphony opens its second Classics concert of the season with two beautiful examples of French symphonic repertoire: Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” and Bizet’s “Symphony in C Major,” juxtaposed with a very recent flute concerto, “Trail of Tears,” by American composer Michael Daugherty. The vivid contrast makes for an extremely intriguing and satisfying evening.
The concert begins at 6:00pm at Atherton Auditorium on the San Joaquin Delta College campus in Stockton, CA, on Saturday, November 16.
Daugherty’s piece, completed in 2010, is an emotionally charged composition, illustrating the five- month forced migration in the 1830s of 15,000 Cherokee men, women and children from Tennessee. From November 1838 to March 1839, the Cherokee, with scant clothing and many without shoes were forced to make an 800-mile march for relocation in Oklahoma during the bitter cold of winter. Suffering from exposure, disease, and starvation, nearly 4,000 Cherokee died during the five-month march known as the “Trail of Tears.”
Michael Daugherty describes his concerto as ‘a musical journey into how the human spirit discovers ways to deal with upheaval, adversity and adapting to a new environment. The first two movements of the concerto are played without pause. The first movement reflects on meaningful memories of things past, inspired by a quotation from the Native American leader Geronimo (1829–1909): “I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun.” The end of the first movement becomes a death march, marked “Trail of Tears,” and concludes with a turbulent instrumental coda. The reflective second movement, entitled “incantation,” meditates on the passing of loved ones and the hope for a better life in the world beyond. The third and final movement, “sun dance,” evokes the most spectacular and important religious dance ceremony of the Plains Indians of 19th-century North America. Banned on Indian reservations for a century by the U.S. government, the dance is practiced again today. I have composed my own fiery musical dance to suggest how reconnecting with rituals of the past might create a path to a new and brighter future.’
The hauntingly beautiful sounds of the soloist’s flute are heavily inspired by the sounds of native flutes and flute songs, and the resulting blend of sounds and influences is quite compelling.
Flute soloist Jennifer Olson is an international recording artist and an active orchestral and chamber music performer in the Los Angeles area. She is the principal flute with the Stockton Symphony and second flute with the Long Beach Symphony and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. As a freelance musician, Olson has performed with prestigious groups such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera and Pacific Symphony. As a recording artist Olson can be heard on recent soundtracks such as Ice Age 4, The Lorax and Men in Black 3.
Matt Weber, from the I Care If You Listen magazine which covers new classical music, art, and technology, praises “Olson’s flute playing [as being] warm, rich, and evocative, with every note a question, suggestion, or innuendo in an ongoing conversation.”
Tickets can be purchased online at www.StocktonSymphony,.org or by calling the Symphony office at (209) 951-0196. Group rates are available! Tickets begin at $25; tickets for children and student with an ID begin at $12.
Meet the Maestro
Audience members are encouraged to attend a free pre-concert talk by Music Director Peter Jaffe, beginning 45 minutes before the concert. Maestro Jaffe will discuss the music to be performed, including composer Michael Daugherty’s influences behind the concerto, “Trail of Tears.”
Flexible subscriptions to the Classics and Pops concerts with discounts off single-ticket prices are still available by stopping by or calling the Stockton Symphony office. For more information, call the Symphony office at (209) 951-0196.
For further information about the Stockton Symphony, future performances, guest artists, and how to volunteer, please visit www.StocktonSymphony.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Founded in 1926, the Stockton Symphony is California’s third-oldest continuously performing orchestra and the only professional symphony orchestra in San Joaquin County. The Symphony’s mission is to engage, educate, and inspire the community through a commitment to excellence in its performances and programs. For more information about Symphony concerts, education and community programs call (209) 951-0196 or visit www.StocktonSymphony.org.