Guest Conductor Thomas Cunningham is passionate about the American repertory and believes deeply in the under-performed compositions of African American composers. To honor and celebrate Black History month, he has chosen William Levi Dawson’s 1934 composition, Negro Folk Symphony - a work based on authentic African-American folk songs and spirituals. Newly appointed Director of Orchestras at Iowa State University, Cunningham describes the symphony as “A truly miraculous and compelling work.” This performance of Negro Folk Symphony is a NASO DEBUT PERFORMANCE as well as the first New York City performance in over 45 years and, we believe, only the second New York City performance since the NY premiere in Carnegie Hall in 1934.
The concert opens with the Nordic sounds of fire and ice as soloist Haerim Elizabeth Lee performs the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor. Korean-born, Elizabeth is now a NYC resident and her performances include chamber music, concerto appearances, premieres of new works and a debut album.
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
Expected Run Time is 120 minutes