This preview has been provided by the Philharmonic Association.

Hugh Partridge
Artistic Director

It is a unique opportunity to perform a work by a living composer today. This was not always the case. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was the norm for audiences to hear mostly contemporary music and they expected composers to supply them with new music on a regular basis. So when R. Michael Daugherty recently appeared before the Triangle Youth Philharmonic to discuss his music, it was unique to have a real live composer in front of them. Michael explained that in his piece that they were working on, Ancient Voices, the music came first. He sketched out some themes, and while working with them, decided what they brought to mind. So we have “The die is cast” – Julius Caesar; “The falling drops at last will wear the stone” – Lucretius; and “A contented mind confers it all” – Horace.

This year’s TYP Honors Recital represented the wealth of talent we have in the orchestra. I wish they all could be heard as soloists with the orchestra! Carter Coleman was selected to appear on our spring concert performing the Allegro non troppo from Saint-Saëns Third Concerto for Violin. Carter has served as a Concertmaster in TYO, TYS and TYP. The Saint-Saëns is one of the great concertos for the violin and Carter brings a stellar interpretation to his rendition.

Mahler – What does that name bring to mind? In his day, you would have thought “conductor,” and he considered composition a sideline. He was one of the first of the “modern” conductors and certainly his first Symphony demonstrates that it would be all but impossible to perform without a conductor. In Haydn and Mozart’s time musicians were schooled in the music of the day, and as there was very little tempo change, a conductor was relatively unimportant and sometimes would be sitting at the harpsichord or playing first violin. I think it is important for us to understand that when Mahler’s First Symphony was performed for the first time it earned him both hostility and ridicule. The version that we will perform is basically the same, but the work has gone through several revisions. The first audience found his work startling and shocking, and it is time and growing accustomed to this new musical language, rather than these revisions, that have made his symphony revered by audiences. I recently took a brief poll asking what one word came to mind when they heard the word “Mahler”. An old pro said, “Work.” A middle-aged pro said, “Big.” One of our talented TYP members said, “Epic.” Well, there you have it. That’s why I love working with the young musicians of the Philharmonic Association! I invite you to come to an epic performance of great classical music performed by great young performers on May 8, 3:00 pm at Meymandi Concert Hall.