Critic’s Choice

February 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Michael Tippett

Michael Tippett

Not many non-professional orchestras have a composer-in-residence and can boast of nine ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. But the New England Philharmonic is not your average ensemble.

For 40 years, the NEP has been committed to performing music by living composers as well as works not usually heard in orchestral concerts. The orchestra has given 50 world premieres and performed works that resulted from 30 local commissions. Recent seasons have witnessed the premieres of new pieces by David Rakowski, Bernard Hoffer, Andy Vores, and Michael Gandolfi, among others.

Saturday night at the Tsai Performance Center, the orchestra will continue its storied tradition by offering the world premiere of Richard Cornell’s Melospiza melodia alongside Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. Soloists will include soprano Sarah Pelletier, mezzo-soprano Krista River, tenor Charles Blandy, and bass Sumner Thompson. Chorus pro Musica, prepared by Jamie Kirsch, will supply the choral parts. Richard Pittman, who celebrates twenty years as conductor of the orchestra, will lead the way.

Filling out the program will be Gunther Schuller’s Vertige d’Eros.

The concert will take place 8 p.m. Saturday at the Tsai Performance Center.

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