This is a big year for two of our nation’s greatest institutions: the National Park Service and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The National Park Service, steward of America’s national parks and historic sites, such as the Gettysburg Battlefield and the Flight 93 National Memorial, is celebrating its 100th birthday. The National Endowment for the Arts, an agency that has funded arts groups such as the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Reach! USA, turns 50 this year.
Philadelphia-based composer, Jonathan Bailey Holland has been commissioned to write a piece commemorating both these important anniversaries. Titled “Forged Sanctuaries,” it will receive its world premiere in Harrisburg at Market Square Concerts’ Summermusic 2016. The composition will be performed by the “Curtis on Tour” string quartet, along with two other selections at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 19 at the Market Square Church.
Two other Summermusic 2016 concerts will be held July 15 at 8 p.m., July 17 at 4 p.m.
“Forged Sanctuaries” was inspired by the Camp Cod National Seashore, an area that the composer said he has visited every summer since his daughter was born. He and his family familiarized themselves with the area by exploring its many beaches and even the lesser-known ponds.
For Holland it’s not just a destination for escape, relaxation and rejuvenation, but also an area constantly in a state of transformation from the ocean waves and the redistribution of the sands of the beaches. He wanted his work to reflect the beauty of the Camp Cod National Seashore, as well as the historical significance that it holds for many people.
The composition is written in two movements. The first, Glacial Formation, is about the evolution of a glacier, and the music is intended to convey the sound of the wind, snow and the ice that moves across the land and then melts. The second movement, The Hypnosis of Tides, is about the allure of the beach and nature of the waves that are sometimes calm and sometimes violent.
Both the commissioning and touring of this work was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Curtis on Tour is an apprenticeship program that gives young artists opportunities to share the stage with faculty and alumni of Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. Peter Sirotin, artistic director of Market Square Concerts, says Curtis on Tour musicians bring tremendous talent and enthusiasm to the communities they visit.
“I know everyone will that comes will be dazzled by the youthful exuberance of emerging young artists on the verge of international careers,” he said.
Market Square Concerts’ Summermusic 2016 is a music festival that brings together the talents of pianists Natalie Zhu and Meng-Chieh Liu, violinist Bella Hristova, cellist Soo Bae and the members of Curtis on Tour String Quartet to play a series of concerts. Aside from “Forged Sanctuaries,” the repertoire at these three concerts will include masterpieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Elgar and Barber, as well as new compositions by John Novacek and David Ludwig.
Tickets for individual concerts are $35, $30 for seniors, $5 for college students and free for school students with a $10 ticket available for accompanying adult.
For tickets and information, visit www.marketsquareconcerts.org or call 717-214-ARTS.