New World Symphony Celebrates 30 Years of Commitment to New Music and its Dedication to Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Annual ‘New Work’ Event Featuring World Premiere by Michael Tilson Thomas, February 3

Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT); New World Symphony conducted by MTT at 2017 New Work event

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA (January 17, 2018) — Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), presents its seventh annual New Work performance on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the New World Center. New Work is dedicated to commissioning and premiering new pieces from high-profile and developing artists across a range of genres, exploring  intersections between music, theater, dance, poetry, video, lighting, and other art forms. This year’s program opens with a world premiere, multidisciplinary performance of selections from Glimpse of the Big Picture, conceived, scored, and authored by NWS Artistic Director/Co-Founder Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT). Divided into three parts, the performance brings music together with the spoken word, featuring MTT as speaker.  The 2018 New Work program also includes two NWS commissions: composer Ted Hearne and filmmaker Jonathan David Kane’s 2017 crowdsourced, multimedia symphony, Miami in Movements, in a revised version; and the world premiere of The Inherent Sadness of Low-Lying Areas, a short play by playwright Christopher Wall featuring music by a variety of composers, from Bach to Saariaho.

Tickets starting at $45 are available from NWS by phone at (305) 673-3331; online at NWS.edu; or in person at the New World Center box office.

This year’s New Work highlights the breadth of MTT’s creative activities—from conducting to composing and writing. The program opens with his multi-part performance that mixes music and recitation, each score and text presented publicly for the first time. Each part dates from a different point in MTT’s career—first “Whitsett Avenue: Sunset Soliloquy” from 1963, featuring NWS Piano Fellow John Wilson; followed by “Auction Dream” from 1977, read by MTT with projections by videographer Shaun Wright; and a closing musical piece, Lope, from 2012. This world premiere performance will mark the second time MTT’s music is premiered as part of New Work. The 2016 program included the world premiere of MTT’s musical/theatrical work Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind.

MTT also conducts a performance of Miami in Movements, in six movements with music by Mr. Hearne and video by Mr. Kane. Commissioned as part of NWS’s yearlong Project 305, through which audio and video samples were collected from the Miami community during the 2016-17 season for this culminating symphonic work, Miami in Movements was premiered by the orchestra on October 21 and is performed at New Work in a revised form.

To complement the above works, five NWS Fellows will perform both musically and theatrically in the world premiere of The Inherent Sadness of Low-Lying Areas, a short play by American playwright Christopher Wall. Commissioned by NWS and produced in collaboration with The Playwrights Realm, a New York-based organization that nurtures young playwriting talent, the play depicts the challenges of a character with post-traumatic stress disorder. The performance features music by J.S. Bach, Luciano Berio, Leoš Janáček, Sergei Prokofiev, Kaija Saariaho, and Erwin Schulhoff.

The New Work program reflects the New World Symphony’s dedication to the commissioning and performance of work by contemporary artists, simultaneously providing an outlet for artists, a forum for audiences to experience new works by those artists, and the ability for NWS Fellows to work alongside contemporaries in a variety of genres, bringing their works to life.  Previous New Work events have featured premieres by composers Samuel Carl Adams, Timo Andres, Marcos Balter, Oscar Bettison, Zosha Di Castri, Ian Dicke, Sean Friar, Michael Gordon, Ted Hearne, Bruce Hornsby, Amy Beth Kirsten, Alex Orfaly, John Supko, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Cynthia Lee Wong; video artists/filmmakers Tyler Adams, Adam Larsen, Bill Morrison, and Pascual Sisto; visual artist Merja Nieminen; audio artist James Andean; poets Malachi Black, Joshua Mehigan, and Roger Reeves; choreographer Justin Peck; and playwrights Joe Tracz and Lauren Yee.

The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, prepares graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. In the 30 years since its co-founding by Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Lin and Ted Arison, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1000 alumni worldwide. A laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced, the New World Symphony consists of 87 young musicians who are granted fellowships lasting up to three years. The fellowship program offers in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, professional development training and personalized experiences working with leading guest conductors, soloists and visiting faculty. Relationships with these artists are extended through NWS’ extensive distance learning via the internet. NWS Fellows take advantage of the innovative performance facilities and state-of-the art practice and ensemble rooms of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center, the campus of the New World Symphony. In the hopes of joining NWS, more than 1,500 recent music school and conservatory graduates compete for about 35 available fellowships each year. The Fellows are selected for this highly competitive, prestigious opportunity based on their musical achievement and promise, as well as their passion for the future of classical music.

To learn more about the New World Symphony, visit nws.edu.

Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
New World Center, Miami, FL

New World Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

Michael Tilson Thomas, composer, author, reader
John Wilson, pianist for “Whitsett Avenue”
Shaun Wright, projection designer for “Auction Dream”
(Selections from Glimpse of the Big Picture)

Kel Haney, director
Joel Leffert, actor
June Ballinger, actor
Musicians from the New World Symphony
Michael Linville, musical coordinator
Clyde Scott, projection designer
Luke Kritzeck, lighting designer
(The Inherent Sadness of Low-Lying Areas)

TILSON THOMAS  Selections from Glimpse of the Big Picture (world premiere)
Whitsett Avenue: Sunset Soliloquy (1963)
Auction Dream (1977)
Lope (2012)

WALL  The Inherent Sadness of Low-Lying Areas (2018; world premiere; NWS theatrical commission)
Music by J.S. Bach, Luciano Berio, Leoš Janáček,
Sergei Prokofiev, Kaija Saariaho and Erwin Schulhoff.

HEARNE/KANE  Miami in Movements (2017; revised version; NWS music/film commission)
Out of the swamp….
The Neighborhood Game
Pocket here, pocket there
Closer than family
Ode to that Miami bass
A canary in the coal mine

Tickets starting at $45 are available from NWS by phone at (305) 673-3331; online at NWS.edu; or in person at the New World Center box office.

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