June 2010 World Premiere of Wynton’s Swing Symphony in Berlin

Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Concerts | Tags: berliner philharmoniker, concerts, swing symphony

The Berliner Philharmoniker and the 15 musicians of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra join forces for the premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ new work, receiving first concert performances at the Philharmonie on June 9th and 10th coupled with Stravinsky’s Petrushka. The score will then form the basis of a new dance work, choreographed by Rhys Martin and performed by 170 Berlin schoolchildren at the Arena Berlin in Treptow on June 12th and 13th. This is the latest in an annual series of community projects under the orchestra’s Zukunft@BPhil program, launched in 2002 with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, subject of a documentary entitled Rhythm is It and released on DVD (Boomtown Media).

Zukunft@BPhil is closely tied in with specific concerts given by the Berliner Philharmoniker. The heart of the education program is formed by the orchestra’s creative projects, which are primarily directed towards Berlin’s schoolchildren. Based on the thematic content of individual concert program, these projects encourage the participants to discover their own creative potential in various artistic forms, including music, painting, dance and poetry. Supplementing these creative challenges for older schoolchildren is the opportunity of a glimpse behind the scenes into the workings of a professional orchestra by attending selected final rehearsals.

Wynton Marsalis as a performer and composer crosses boundaries and styles with an output including a growing number of works performable by orchestras and choirs. Recent scores have included his Mass Abyssinian 200: A Celebration for choir and jazz orchestra, and the Blues Symphony (Symphony No.2) commissioned and premiered by the Atlanta Symphony this season. This first Marsalis work written solely for symphony orchestra celebrates the blues through the prism of different moments in American history.

As well as the project in Berlin, Marsalis’ European performances in June include the first events in a new Jazz at Lincoln Center residency at the Barbican in London (June 15th-20th). Events include concerts which chart the history of the American jazz orchestra, featuring Marsalis and the JLCO at the Barbican and the Hackney Empire in East London. There are also family concerts, workshops, Essentially Ellington UK, and a leadership day for music teachers led by Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians and faculty and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.