During the winter of the pandemic it felt uplifting to compose music imbued with hope and energy. Derek Bermel
This month, Midori and seven US youth orchestras embark on a new kind of collaboration: a virtual concerto. Derek Bermel’s Spring Cadenzas is being presented in Midori’s Orchestra Residencies Program (ORP), marking the first time a contemporary work has been presented in the program.
Midori approached Bermel in the autumn of 2020 about writing a concerto that she could perform remotely with youth orchestras this season, and also in person in subsequent seasons.
“During the winter of the pandemic it felt uplifting to compose music imbued with hope and energy. The piece takes the form of interlocking cadenzas, played without pause, in which Midori leads the orchestra through a series of musical episodes. The movement titles are derived from translations of Basho’s delicate, poignant haikus.”
The virtual performances have been enabled by Executive Producer/Sound Designer Trevor New.
As an added dimension, Midori and Bermel attached two composer workshops to ORP this spring that drew 75 students from the orchestras in meet-the-composer Q&A sessions and a masterclass devoted to these young budding performers’ compositions.
Bermel is a seasoned mentor to young composers. He currently runs the Earshot readings of the American Composers Orchestra as its Artistic Director, and directs Copland House's Cultivate program. He also teaches in the composition studio at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where he is Composer-In-Residence.
Spring Cadenzas is the second collaboration between Midori and Bermel, following the commission of a set of violin etudes in 2010.
The Orchestra Residency Program: Mission and Vision
Designed by Midori as a means of supporting the American youth orchestra, the Orchestra Residencies Program is a collaborative project which provides meaningful musical experiences now for the next generation of classical musicians. The program aspires to help establish the youth orchestra as a presence in the community, as well as to build upon relationships with local organizations, visiting artists and administrative staff.
Midori will participate in a wide range of activities tailored to optimize the involvement of the youth orchestra. Through masterclasses, performance workshops, and meals with Q&A sessions, a substantial portion of the residency is devoted to the youth orchestra and its members. Additional activities may include arts advocacy visits to local legislators and discussion groups with parents and staff.
Performing Ensembles in the 2021 Orchestra Residencies Program, featuring Spring Cadenzas (2021) by Derek Bermel
Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York
Director: Anthea Jackson
Conductor: Scott Stickley
Premiere Date: Sunday, May 23 at 7-7:30 PM
Concert Format: Virtual
Participating Orchestras (selected by application):
Youth Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes
Director: Karen Dusek
Conductor: Augusto Diemecke
Premiere Date: Sunday, May 16, 2-2:30 PM
Concert Format: Virtual
Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras
Director: Hanrich Claassen
Conductor: Hanrich Claassen
Premiere Date: Sunday, May 23 at 5:30-6 PM
Concert Format: Live Concert, Midori remote
Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey
Director: Larisa Epps
Conductor: Nell Flanders
Premiere Date: Tuesday, June 1 at 7-7:30 PM
Boston String Academy
Director: Marielisa Alvarez
Conductor: Jorge Soto
Premiere Date: Sunday, June 6 at 3-3:30 PM
Format: Virtual Live Stream
Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Director: Irene Narotsky
Conductor: Dr. James Mick
Premiere Date: Sunday, June 6 at 4-4:30 PM
South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras
Director: Diane Economakis
Conductor: Robert Boardman
Premiere Date: Sunday, June 20 at 2-2:30 PM