American Idylls

Kensho Watanabe - Conductor


Higdon - blue cathedral

Copland - Appalachian Spring

Respighi - Fountains of Rome

Bates - Anthology of Fantastic Zoology

Thursday, August 8, 2019

8:00 pm Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is postponing his return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center due to family reasons following an injury sustained by his partner, Pierre Tourville. Mr. Nézet-Séguin has withdrawn from the concerts on August 7 and 8 but will return on August 16 and 17. He looks forward to greeting audiences in Saratoga next week after much-needed time with Pierre during the early stages of recovery.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Saratoga Performing Arts Center are very grateful to Philadelphia Orchestra Assistant Conductor Kensho Watanabe for stepping in to conduct the concerts on August 7 and August 8. The programs remain as announced.

August 8 will feature three SPAC premieres: blue cathedral, an orchestral composition by the American composer Jennifer Higdon and one of the composer’s most performed works; the orchestral suite of Copland’s Appalachian Spring, the Pulitzer Prize-winning depiction of the American idyll, which also popularized the Shaker folk song “Simple Gifts”; and Mason Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, titled after mythical creatures from the book of the same name by Jorge Luis Borges. The work exploits the virtuosity of the Orchestra to evoke what the composer calls a “psychedelic bestiary.”

Fountains of Rome, the piece that eventually put Respighi on the international map, celebrates four of the city’s famous fountains as a highlight of this aquatic-themed program.

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