Phoenix Symphony’s Tribute to the Brave
The Phoenix Symphony is centering its pops season-opening program on the brave men and women who served in the armed forces. Included will be commemorations of three important turning points in America’s history: the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the 100th anniversary of World War I, and the 75th anniversary of World War II.
The symphony’s ambitious triple concert series is being led by guest conductor Jacomo Bairos, the music director of the Amarillo Symphony in Texas and Nu Deco Ensemble in Florida. Accompanying the orchestra’s performance will be Westwater Arts multimedia artist Nicholas Bardonnay with three historically themed photochoreography pieces: The Eternal Struggle, No Man’s Land, and Citizen Soldier. It will be the first time all three have been performed together.
Set to Copland’s compelling Lincoln Portrait, The Eternal Struggle is a 2008 joint commission by the Akron Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic that reflects on the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, slavery, and the Civil Rights movement. The piece was assembled using archival images from the Library of Congress and U.S. National Archives. Also unique to TPS’s program, the performance of Lincoln Portrait will feature two narrators, former U.S. Senator John Kyl for Friday and Saturday’s concerts and Arizona State Senator Steve Pierce for Sunday’s performance.
Commemorating the ongoing 100th anniversary of World War I, No Man’s Land is a glimpse into the twentieth century’s abrupt coming of age from 1914–1918. Its companion piece, Citizen Soldier, explores the unprecedented economic, industrial and human mobilization of World War II. Created using historical images from over a dozen international photo archives, the two pieces premiered in 2014 with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Both the WWI and WWII multimedia pieces are choreographed to music options by Barber, Copland, Shostakovich and Vaughan Williams, totaling four versions for each piece. The Phoenix Symphony will premiere the Shostakovich and Barber versions for the WWI and WWII concert pieces, respectively.
Founded in 1947, The Phoenix Symphony is Arizona’s largest performing arts organization. In February 2012 we also collaborated with the orchestra as part of a co-commission by The Phoenix Symphony and Tucson Symphony Orchestra to mark Arizona’s state centennial. The concert piece was Grand Canyon Country, set to Ferde Grofé’s celebrated Grand Canyon Suite.