Saturday, October 20, 2018
7:30 p.m. at First Church, Boston
J.S. Bach: Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052
Ling-Ju Lai, piano
Christopher Theofanidis: Visions and Miracles
Oliver Caplan: We Exist
New Hampshire Master Chorale
We open our season with an uplifting program featuring the remarkable pianist Ling-Ju Lai performing Bach’s Concerto in D minor. A native of Taiwan, she has garnered consistently favorable reviews for her creative interpretation of Baroque keyboard music, particularly the music of J.S. Bach.
As Sir András Schiff expresses, “Ms. Lai has a questing musical mind. Her approach is unusual and valuable, a very gifted musician and pianist.” The Baltimore Sun writes, “The depth of the sound sinks in with startling poignancy as Ling-Ju Lai lets the notes linger long in the air…a moment of musical insight to savor.”
Ms. Lai received graduate degrees in Piano and Harpsichord Performance from the University of Michigan and Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate for her excellence in performance.
Next, we have Visions and Miracles, an exuberant piece for strings, by Grammy-nominated composer Christopher Theofanidis.
Mr. Theofanidis holds degrees from Yale, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Houston, and has been the recipient of the International Masterprize, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship, a Tanglewood fellowship, and two fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His orchestral work, Rainbow Body, has been one of the most performed new orchestral works of the new millennium, having been performed by over 150 orchestras internationally.
We close our program with Oliver Caplan’s We Exist, a moving response to the 2017 violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, set to a poem by award-winning author and journalist Naseem Rakha. As Oliver writes: “Each of us carries the responsibility to open our hearts and speak against affronts to freedom. This piece celebrates the strength of diversity and honors all races, all faiths and all genders.” We Exist was commissioned by the New Hampshire Master Chorale, Dan Perkins, Music Director in 2018 and we’re thrilled to have them join us for this performance.