Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Commission New Photochoreography Piece for Complete Má vlast
James Westwater and Nicholas Bardonnay traveled to the Czech Republic to create a visual journey through Smetana’s famed homeland for an extraordinary set of performances of Má vlast. With Peter Oundjian at the helm, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra premiered the new work in March and April 2013, respectively. For the concerts in Scotland, there were back-to-back performances in Glasgow, Perth, and Edinburgh.
Tucson and Phoenix SymphoniesCommission New Piece to Celebrate Arizona Centennial & Grand Canyon
The Tucson Symphony and Phoenix Symphony jointly commissioned James Westwater and Nicholas Bardonnay to create a new piece of symphonic photochoreography celebrating the many beautiful facets of the Grand Canyon—among the greatest natural wonders of the world—for Arizona's state centennial. The new piece, Grand Canyon Country, showcases the timeless grandeur of the Grand Canyon with seldom seen perspectives from both the mighty Colorado River and the canyon’s lofty rims, while revealing desert waterfalls, immersive slot canyons and surprising islands of life in this rugged but unforgettable land. Set to Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite, the piece premiered in both Arizona cities and is now available for performance by orchestras worldwide.
Tom Brokaw Narrates
The Eternal Struggle
The Eugene Symphony did something different this season. For their first annual “Counterpoint” festival, which explored contemporary social and cultural themes through music and collaborations, the theme was “War and Peace.” Two guest artists contributed to this theme, accompanying the orchestra’s performance of Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Iconic journalist Tom Brokaw narrated the stirring words of Abraham Lincoln while James Westwater projected hundreds of carefully selected historical photographs onto a giant panoramic screen suspended above the orchestra. The images depicted three timely and stirring themes: Lincoln, the Civil War and the ongoing struggle for freedom, justice and equality. See the story at right for more information.
Britt Festival Commissions New Piece to Celebrate
The Britt Festival in Oregon has commissioned James Westwater and Nicholas Bardonnay to create a new piece of photochoreography celebrating 50 years of The Britt Experience. The new piece, which premieres this August with Peter Bay conducting, will draw upon the festival’s image archives, community submissions, and the great historical collection of Peter Britt, the festival’s namesake. The photography will be choreographed and projected alongside the performance of a great classical work as part of the concert “Music, Memories, Magic.”
Bardonnay Joins Westwater Arts
James Westwater is delighted to welcome photographer, multimedia artist and son-in-law Nicholas Bardonnay to Westwater Arts. To date, Nicholas has contributed to numerous Westwater concert productions. His fine-art photography has been exhibited by the London Photographic Association as well as galleries in Los Angeles, Portland, Hong Kong and other cities. His first photochoreography piece, Ghosts of the Mist, provides orchestras with three different performance options, showcasing works by Mahler, Górecki or Sibelius. Keep an eye out for more exciting developments from the new Westwater Arts team!
Six New Photochoreography
Pieces for Next Season
As the next booking season approaches, orchestras can choose from five new, audience-engaging visual accompaniments for performances in 2012–13. Má vlast: a visual journey, Canyonlands, Woodlands, Grand Canyon Country, Rodeo! and Ghosts of the Mist are set to selected works by Beethoven, Dvorák, Bach, Fauré, Diamond, Elgar, Smetana, Copland, Grofé, Mahler, Górecki and Sibelius. To view sample photographs and read a short description for each piece, please visit the Repertoire page. Contact us for more information and a complete repertoire list.
From 2011 through 2015, New Piece Marks 150th Anniversaries of the Civil War and Lincoln Presidency
James Westwater was commissioned by the Akron Symphony and the Orlando Philharmonic—Christopher Wilkins, Music Director and Conductor—to create a new piece of giant-screen, multi-image photochoreography portraying Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War and the on-going struggle for freedom, justice and equality.
Westwater reviewed over 10,000 historical photographs before selecting the strongest images to illustrate the themes mentioned above and add a powerfully moving visual dimension to the dramatic score. Maestro Wilkins calls it a "masterpiece."
The new piece is set to Aaron Copland's classic, Lincoln Portrait, and is ideal for concerts from 2011 through 2015, the period marking the 150th anniversaries of the Civil War, Lincoln's presidency, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and many important battles that shaped America's future. Click here to see photos of the premiere performance.
DISTINCTLY MONTANA Magazine Features Westwater Arts
For their Fall 2011 issue, DISTINCTLY MONTANA published a story on the Westwater Arts team, their connection to Montana and their upcoming concert with the Great Falls Symphony. To read the article, “Cutting-Edge Classical,” click here.
Photochoreography engagements include the principal orchestras of Cleveland, Toronto, Pittsburgh,
Seattle, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Dallas, Vancouver, Baltimore, Milwaukee,
Detroit, Cincinnati, Saint Paul, Indianapolis, Houston, Portland,
Denver, Saint Louis, Columbus, Rochester, Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Singapore and Scotland, plus over 150more >
For repertoire, booking and
©1997-2013 Westwater Arts LLC
All Rights Reserved
New Commission Marks National Monument Centennial
The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra celebrated the 2011 centennial of nearby Colorado National Monument with a newly commissioned musical work and photochoreography piece. Both were performed for the orchestra’s opening 2011–12 concert. The visual piece, set to Monument to Color and Light by composer Eric Ewazen, blends majestic scenery from the park with images of—and by—visitors actively enjoying the park year-round, as well as historical photographs showing the evolution of the monument over the years.
The local newspaper, area residents and photographers submitted more than 700 photographs for this production. Excitement for the additional community involvement delivered two new sponsors and an important, long-term community partnership for the orchestra. Two more pieces from the Westwater repertoire, The Eternal Struggle and Chaps & Spurs, were also performed.
Photos courtesy The Daily Sentinel
Care Connection photo
SYMPHONY Magazine: Westwater Photochoreography
Honors Local Heroes in Boulder
The Boulder Philharmonic did something new for their season-opening concert this year. In addition to performing his most recent piece, The Eternal Struggle, the Boulder Phil engaged James Westwater to create a new photochoreography piece to salute Boulder's nonprofit organizations.
The Boulder Phil asked area nonprofits to provide photography of their people and projects that help the community. Westwater set a selection of these photos to a great piece of classical music. By honoring Boulder's "unsung heroes," this concert also attracted volunteers and supporters of these organizations, thus adding many new faces and ears to the concert audience.
To read the SYMPHONY article about the Boulder concert click here.
SYMPHONY Magazine: Westwater
Photochoreography Benefiting Today's Orchestras
In its March/April issue, SYMPHONY magazine highlighted how orchestras are utilizing multimedia—such as Westwater's recent piece, The Eternal Struggle
—to expand their audience base. Click here
to read the SYMPHONY article. For more information on The Eternal Struggle
, see the description in the mid-center column.