Spotlight: Aaron Jay Kernis and Paul Moravec
Friday, May 06, 2011
On Friday from 5 to 8pm, in anticipation of WQXR's kick-off Spring For Music broadcast from Carnegie Hall featuring the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Q2 presents a Spring Fever spotlight on the evocative sound worlds of two featured composers, Aaron Jay Kernis and Paul Moravec. Q2 also turns over the microphone to the composers themselves, as they provide exclusive insights into their own works, from Moravec's Tempest Fantasy to Aaron Jay Kernis's String Quartet No. 2, "musica instrumentalis," both pieces awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music.
In 1998, Kernis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his String Quartet No. 2, followed by the Grawemeyer Award in 2002 for Colored Field. His works have been performed by such groups as the New York Philharmonic and the Seattle Symphony. Additionally, Kernis serves as director of the Minnesota Orchestra's Composer Institute. Paul Moravec who received the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, has a composition history that includes orchestral, chamber, choral and film scores.
WQXR's live broadcast is a reprisal of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's New Brandenburgs project of six composers each basing a new work on one of Bach's original concertos. Kernis's work for Orpheus, Concerto with Echoes, was composed in the spirit of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 using only violas, cellos and basses. Though there are literal sounds of echoes in his work, he also "echoes" other works of Bach as well as other composers. Moravec's Brandenburg Gate takes its main motif from Bach's name represented in music notation (B-flat, A, C, B-natural) and is inspired by the fall of the Berlin wall.