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New Work: “The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie” by Lera Auerbach in Bergen

The American-Russian composer Lera Auerbach has written a new work in response to a commission from the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the BBC Proms, entitled “The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie”. This symphonic fantasia for violin, choir and orchestra will be given its world premiere on 7 April 2016 in Bergen, with the violinist Vadim Gluzman, the Bergen Philharmonic Choir, the Edvard Grieg Choir and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Edward Gardner.

Also already confirmed for this year are the British premiere on 31 July 2016 during the course of the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Swiss premiere of “The Infant Minstrel And His Peculiar Menagerie” on 9 November 2016 in Geneva with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

Lera Auerbach has provided the following commentary on her work:
“‘The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie’ is a symphonic fantasy for solo violin, choir, and orchestra. Violinist Vadim Gluzman performs the lead role of a traveling musical storyteller who introduces a collection of wondrous tales by the mysterious author Erroneous Anonymous. The Infant Minstrel guides listeners in a voyage of imagination.
Auerbach’s new composition speaks to the young and the young at heart with child-like, yet enigmatic and humorous poems in the tradition of ‘nonsense’ authors such as Edward Lear, Lewis Carol, Hilaire Belloc, and Mother Goose, as well as Edith Sitwell, Shel Silverstein, Edward Gorey, and Tim Burton. The text is relevant, yet timeless; absurd, yet profound; simple, yet multi-layered.
We meet characters such as the Common Corporant, the Moon Rider, and the Flying Pig that enjoys sitting on a cloud watching the crowd. The work embraces with humor the traditions of the British and Gaelic bard and the troubadour, whose songs told embellished and exotic tales. It also finds inspiration in the menagerie – a diverse collection of creatures and curiosities – and the sideshow presentation of oddities and the bizarre.”

7 April 2016
Grieghallen, Griegsalen, 7:30 PM (Introduction to the concert: 6:45 PM)
World premiere: Lera Auerbach
“The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie”. Symphonic Fantasy for violin, choir and orchestra
Vadim Gluzman (violin)
Bergen Philharmonic Choir
Edvard Grieg Choir
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Edward Gardner (direction)


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