Critic’s Choice

April 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Birthday festivities for composer John Harbison continue with Emmanuel Music presenting the Boston premiere of his String Quartet No. 6. Photo: Tom Artin
The season-long celebration of John Harbison’s 80th birthday continues this week as Gil Rose leads the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in a program dedicated to some of the composer’s most affecting music.

The polished, jazzy sweep of Remembering Gatsby will open a concert that will focus upon Milosz Songs, a work written for soprano Dawn Upshaw. In Sunday afternoon’s performance, Upshaw will reprise her role as soloist in this song cycle.

The Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Harbison’s love letter to his favorite instrument, will have soloist Marcus Thompson join BMOP for this driving and lyrical score.

Sunday’s concert will conclude with Harbison’s Symphony No. 6 for soprano and orchestra, which the composer wrote for the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Here too, Upshaw will serve as soloist.

The performance will take place 3 p.m. Sunday at Jordan Hall.

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