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New World Symphony Premiere Three ‘New Works’ This April

By Philip Trapp on Mar 26, 2016 03:10 PM EDT

Miami's New World Symphony will debut new works by three contemporary artists next month in their aptly titled special event, New Work.

The program comprises original pieces from composers Michael Tilson Thomas and Timo Andres along with a theatrical presentation by playwright Lauren Yee and composer Amy Beth Kirsten. All three works are world premieres of the material.

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, will be unveiling his composition, Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. The performance is an adaptation of the eponymous poem by Carl Sandburg, and features vocalists Measha Brueggergosman, Mikaela Bennett and Kara Sainz.

Thomas, also music director of the San Francisco Symphony, is renowned for his renditions of revered composer Gustav Mahler's oeuvre. The NWS director recently completed recording the entire Mahler catalog with the Symphony.

In an interview with The Guardian, Thomas spoke on the significance of music and the contributions it accords a person's character:

"The most important thing about music is what happens when it stops, what remains with the listener, what they take away. A melody, rhythm, some understanding of another person or another culture. The way those experiences add up, in the soul of a person over the years, is the biggest prize classical music possesses."

Pianist Timo Andres will reveal his NWS commission, Tides and Currents. The aqueous keyboard piece draws inspiration from John Luther Adams' Become Ocean, and will feature Andres on piano along with other NWS Fellows.

New Work will also premiere a "micro-play" from dramatist Lauren Yee with a score from musician Amy Beth Kirsten, another NWS commission. The theater piece, entitled Stereo | Blind, stars actors Diana Oh and Dawn McGee.

Speaking to the blog Playwrights Foundation, Yee articulated her histrionic journey and maturation in the theatrical art

"[I] have gradually continued my exploration of what it means to be big and theatrical and formally inventive. I want to write plays that surprise me as I'm writing them, and hopefully that translates to a satisfying experience for an audience, too."

The New Work event takes place Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Miami's New World Center. Tickets are available from New World Symphony.

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TagsNew World Symphony, New World Center, Michael Tilson Thomas, Timo Andres, Lauren Yee, Amy Beth Kirsten, Carl Sandburg, Gustav Mahler, John Luther Adams