American composer

Steven R. Gerber – A digital concert featuring the late American composer, FREE to watch from February 26, 2021

Composer, Steven R. Gerber (photo © Robin Holland)

Emily Davis, violin

The English Symphony Orchestra has been busy recording a season of social-distanced digital concerts during the lockdown

One of a series of “Portraits of Composers” recorded by the English Symphony Orchestra and their American conductor, Kenneth Woods

We are determined to focus during this difficult time on making a meaningful contribution to expanding our repertoire and introducing new and more varied concert formats.

– Kenneth Woods

UNITED KINGDOM, February 25, 2021 / – Music by Wyastone – Studio Concert Series
Available from 19:30 GMT, Friday February 26, 2021, FREE for four days and then in the ESO digital archive:

Gerber arr. Daron Hagen
Sinfonietta No.1 (based on the Piano Quintet)
Gerber arr. Adrien williams
String Sinfonia No.1 (based on String Quartet No.4)
Gerber Two Lyric Pieces – Soloist: Emily Davis (Violin)
Gerber arr. Adrien williams
String Sinfonia No.2 (based on String Quartet No.6)
Gerber arr. Adrien williams
Sinfonietta No.2 (based on String Quartet No.5)

English symphony orchestra
Conductor: Kenneth Woods
Guest conductor: Emily Davis

The English Symphony Orchestra’s Music from Wyastone virtual concert series, hailed by critics as “one of the most innovative initiatives of the Covid era,” continues on February 26 with the first of several planned concerts by Composer. Portrait focusing on the work of American composer Steven R. Gerber, who died in 2015. The concert features guest violinist Emily Davis and is conducted by Kenneth Woods, artistic director of ESO.

“The Composer Portrait Series has been a key part of our aspirations for Wyastone music since we began to examine the viability and usefulness of online concerts,” said Kenneth Woods. “From the start, we have been determined to focus during this difficult time on making a meaningful contribution to expanding our repertoire and introducing new and more varied concert formats. Steven is one of the many composers that we think our audience will appreciate once they get to know his music, and it’s so exciting to be able to put on a concert like this, which really shows the breadth of his musical vision. .

Steven R. Gerber was born September 28, 1948 in Washington, DC. He graduated from Haverford College and Princeton University, where he was awarded a 4-year scholarship. Steven’s music composition teachers include Robert Parris, JK Randall, Earl Kim, and Milton Babbitt. His early works were in a free atonal style, incorporating serial and non-twelve-tone languages ​​into a distinctive and deeply personal world of sound. During his graduate years at Princeton and throughout the 1970s, he wrote a number of astonishing compositions, such as the a cappella choral works of Dylan Thomas Settings and Illuminations (Rimbaud). From the early 1980s, he abandoned twelve-tone and atonal composition, with rare exceptions, and his music became much more tonal while retaining the expressive elements of his earlier works.

Steven’s music gained international attention following recorded CD releases containing several of his major orchestral works as well as concertos. His Symphony No. 1, Dirge and Awakening, the Viola Concerto and the Triple Overture were recorded by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Thomas Sanderling on the Chandos label.

ESO was delighted to give the first performances of its two Sinfoniettas for orchestra and its two Sinfonias for string orchestra and of its Two lyric pieces for violin and strings. Sinfoniettas and Sinfonias are fascinating arrangements of Gerber’s chamber music by composers Adrian Williams and Daron Hagen, commissioned by the Steven R. Gerber Trust.

Guest violinist Emily Davis conducts the program and appears as a soloist in Gerber’s two evocative lyrical pieces for violin and strings. The solo performances have taken Emily Davis to festivals and venues across the world. Recent highlights include “Fratres” by Arvo Pärt with conductor Vasily Petrenko at the Pärnu Festival in Estonia; Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons” at the Bergen International Festival; the Cuban premiere of “Lark Ascending” by Vaughan Williams; Szymanowski’s Concerto No. 2 with the Ålesund Symphony Orchestra (Norway), as well as Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra and the Outcry Ensemble in London. She has broadcast live as a soloist on British (BBC), Estonian, Romanian, Cuban and Irish (RTÉ) radio stations.

The Future Composer Portrait concerts will focus on the music of Adrian Williams, Emily Doolittle, James Francis Brown and Philip Sawyers.

All ESO virtual concerts are available on ESO Digital where supporters have access to the full ESO online archive.

For more information on the English Symphony Orchestra, visit

Karen fletcher
Archery Music Promotions
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