Primo Artists signs Wynton Marsalis for Symphonic Composition Representation
NEW YORK (May 31, 2019) — Primo Artists announces the signing of Wynton Marsalis to its roster for Symphonic Composition Representation effective immediately.
Representation will be handled by Charlotte Lee, President and Founder of Primo Artists. Marsalis joins a distinguished roster that comprises violinist/conductor Itzhak Perlman, violinists Joshua Bell and Nicola Benedetti, pianists Beatrice Rana and Seong-Jin Cho, and conductors Cristian Măcelaru, Christian Reif and Gemma New.
Charlotte Lee, Founder of Primo Artists, said: “I have had the joy of collaborating with Wynton Marsalis since 2012, when we first discussed the creation of a violin concerto for Nicola Benedetti. This project has culminated in performances around the world and a forthcoming album release, and we have many new projects planned for the future. It is an immense privilege to move forward in this capacity, and I am delighted to officially welcome Wynton to the Primo family.”
Winner of 9 Grammy® awards, Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, and tap dance to ballet, Marsalis has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.
Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood on The Fields in 1997. In 1999, Marsalis premiered his first composition for symphony orchestra, titled All Rise, with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur, alongside the Morgan State University Choir and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In 2009, the Atlanta Symphony premiered Marsalis’ second symphonic work, Blues Symphony, under the direction of Robert Spano. Marsalis infused blues and ragtime rhythms with symphonic orchestrations to create a fresh experience for classical repertoire. His third symphony, Swing Symphony, was premiered in 2010 by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. By employing complex layers of collective improvisation with Swing Symphony, Marsalis created new possibilities for audiences to experience swing in the context of a classical symphonic work.
In 2016, the New York Philharmonic premiered Marsalis’ fourth symphony, The Jungle, led by Alan Gilbert and alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. According to the composer, the work is “a musical portrait of New York City, the most fluid, pressure-packed and cosmopolitan metropolis the modern world has ever seen.”
Marsalis made a significant addition to his oeuvre with Concerto in D, a violin concerto composed for virtuoso Nicola Benedetti. The work was premiered in 2015 by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Gaffigan, and received its U.S. premiere in 2016 at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. With this masterful composition, Marsalis celebrates the American vernacular in ultra-sophisticated ways. Its fundamental character is Americana with sweeping melodies, jazzy orchestral dissonances, blues-tinge themes, fancy fiddling and a rhythmic swagger. An album featuring the Violin Concerto, with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Cristian Măcelaru, will be released on Decca Classics in July 2019.