This concert, originally scheduled for February 5, will now take place on February 11.

This season at New England Conservatory, 30+ concerts demonstrate just how vital music is to human struggle, and what revolution in artistic expression sounds like. Programs range from roots music to Beethoven, fight songs to anti-war anthems. Join our year-long exploration of how music speaks truth to power!

Napoleon to Dr. King:
Where Are the Heroes?

As part of NEC's Music: Truth to Power festival, David Loebel, Associate Director of Orchestras, conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner's New Morning for the World, based on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words. Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick will read the text in this performance.

Deval PatrickComposed in 1982, New Morning for the World was given its premiere by the Eastman Philharmonia in January 1983 in Rochester, New York, and immediately following that at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Since then, it has taken its place alongside another famed work for orchestra and narrator—Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait of 1942—as the musical centerpiece of choice for many official American celebrations and, of course, especially for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. For New England Conservatory, there is an additional layer of resonance: Coretta Scott King '54, '71 hon. D.M. met her future husband while a student at NEC.

A commission from AT&T, the work was envisioned as a vehicle for Willie Stargell, the former star first baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Schwantner decided to create a work based on excerpts from King’s eloquent, visionary speeches as a memorial to “a man of great dignity and courage, whom I have long admired.” He worked closely with Stargell to compile the text, which draws on many of King’s most renowned utterances, including “How long, not long” and “I Have a Dream.” After Stargell narrated the premiere performances, countless other renowned African Americans have lent their voices to the work.

Read David Loebel's note on these works and the notions of heroism that inspired them.

Date: February 11, 2014 - 8:00:PM
Price: Free
Location: NEC’s Jordan Hall

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