Violin Concerto by Ann Arborite Stephanie Ann Boyd gets Boston Premiere
A graduate of Pioneer High School and a former violinist in the Pioneer High School Orchestras and the University of Michigan’s Youth Orchestra, 24 year old Boyd has been writing orchestral music in earnest for the past eight years, an endeavor buoyed by encouragement from current Pioneer Orchestras director Jonathan Glawe and former director Andrea Yun. On working with Boyd when she was Composer in Residence for the Pioneer Orchestras in 2012, Glawe noted “I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a terrific composer and kind-hearted person in this environment”. Boyd maintains strong ties with Pioneer’s program, has taught several Pioneer musicians in her private composition studio, and visits Ann Arbor several times a year.
Sybil, about 15 minutes long, is comprised of three movements: Fantasia, Elegia, and March. The Fantasia juxtaposes sections of lush melody over string accompaniment with high interjections from pastel woodwinds and chant-like, druidic themes in the solo violin. The Elegia starts out as a dark wash of subtle color changes; the violin leading the orchestra out of a melancholic meditation into and back out of a vivid and frenetic scherzo. Subtitled Lullaby for the Tempestuous Heart, this movement is a constantly vacillates between yearning and madness. The March borrows from Stravinsky in form, marrying asymmetrical folk tunes with fiddle-like gestures in the solo violin.
Under Aspinall’s baton the orchestra flowed in and out of colors and textures while violinist Ms. Koh arrested the audience’s attention with her characteristic sound and dark resonance. Boyd was overjoyed after the concert, and said, still holding the music in her hands, “I can’t believe it was only a few years ago that I spent Wednesday afternoons at violin lessons (with Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra member Anne Ogren and later with renowned pedagogue John Kendall) and here I am finishing my masters degree with my violin concerto being performed and conducted by hands down some of the best musicians in the world in one of the best halls in the world. Hard work pays off and dreams do come true.”
More about Boyd’s music and recordings of recent orchestral and chamber music are available at her website http://stephanieannboyd.com
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