This past spring, we had the great privilege of performing at the American Museum of Natural History for a special Earth Day celebration. The centerpiece of our concert was Become Ocean, a powerful meditation on the fragility of our natural world by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Environmental advocacy is a central theme in Adams’s life and work, and following our concert, he summed up his raison d’être as an artist. “We make music,” Adams said, “because music can change the world.” Social engagement has been a guiding principle for The Chelsea Symphony as well: in recent seasons, we have celebrated the musical contributions of visitors and immigrants to the United States, and presented exciting contemporary works that champion environmental protection.
In the same spirit of engagement, we are thrilled to present our 2018-19 season, Resolution: Music of Social Action. Our concerts this year feature compositions from turbulent times past and present: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Eroica, a product of the tumultuous Napoleonic Era; Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, written during the oppressive Stalinist regime; Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum, a searing response to the Black Lives Matter movement; and many more compelling works from across the globe. While these pieces were borne of difficult circumstances, they ultimately speak to music’s ability to empower, uplift, and resist. In short, this is music that has changed the world.
As always, we are committed to promoting the work of dynamic emerging musicians. The season features three world premieres written especially for TCS, and we are delighted to continue our annual composition contest for early-career musicians in partnership with acclaimed conductor and composer Gerard Schwarz. Every concert will showcase The Chelsea Symphony’s unique collaborative structure, with our musicians rotating as featured soloists, composers, and conductors. And for the third straight year, we will continue our work with the underserved population at Rikers Island.
On a lighter note, you can continue to watch for TCS musicians in the critically acclaimed Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle. All four seasons of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning show are available for viewing on Amazon.com.
Thank you for your support of The Chelsea Symphony, and we hope you will join us often this season!
Matthew Aubin and Mark Seto