GREENSBORO — Two composers plan to be in the Eastern Music Festival audience Saturday night when the faculty orchestra performs their works, one with a renowned guitarist playing its world premiere.
Composers Avner Dorman and Paul Frucht will be there for the concert titled “New Perspectives” when the EMF faculty’s Eastern Festival Orchestra premieres Dorman’s “How to Love.”
It will feature Grammy Award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux as soloist. Vieaux teaches students in EMF’s classical guitar summit.
The orchestra also will perform Frucht’s “Dawn,” dedicated to the memory of school principal Dawn Hochsprung and 25 others who lost their lives in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and their families.
EMF Music Director Gerard Schwarz will conduct the concert, which will conclude with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10.
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This summer, EMF altogether will present the world premieres of four works — and the North Carolina premiere of another — at this classical summer festival and school based at Guilford College.
Dorman is an award-winning, Israeli-born composer, educator and conductor who now lives in the United States.
The Washington Post has described him as “wide-ranging, appealing and breathtakingly virtuosic.”
Dorman’s intricate and soulful, 20-minute piece, “How to Love,” was originally written for guitar and strings and is named after a book by Thich Nhat Hanh.
The musical work has four movements, titled after the mantras that the author outlines at the end of the book: “I am here for you,” “I know you are there, and I am happy,” “This is a happy moment” and “You are partly right.”
“‘How to Love’ speaks to the essentials of mindfulness and how to love — how to love oneself, how to listen and understand, be happy, and even disagree,” Dorman said.
“The journey of embracing imperfection in order to love each other fully is explored throughout all the movements,” he said.
Vieaux has been described by NPR as “perhaps the most precise and soulful guitarists of his generation.”
In 2015, his solo album “Play” won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
Performing new works has been a passion of Vieaux’s that has fostered premieres of works by many notable composers, including “How to Love.”
Vieaux’s multiple appearances for San Francisco Performances, Caramoor Festival, Ravinia Festival, PCMS, 92nd Street Y, Domaine-Forget and others have helped to cement his reputation as one of the world’s leading guitarists.
Frucht has been hailed by Hearst Media as a “composer with a career to follow.”
His work has been acclaimed for its “sense of lyricism, driving pulse and great urgency” by WQXR-105.9 FM, “jagged beauty” by the Buffalo News and “excellent orchestration” by the Ridgefield Press in Connecticut.
His 10-minute work, “Dawn,” was premiered in April 2013 by members of the Juilliard Orchestra.
“Dawn Hochsprung was an incredible person I had the fortune of meeting when I was a student at Rogers Park Middle School from2000-2003, where she was an assistant principal,” Frucht said in the EMF news release. “I worked with both her and her husband, George, as a member of the National Junior Honor Society.”
“When the tragic events occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, I, like everyone else in the Danbury area, was shocked and deeply saddened,” Frucht said.
“Dawn and George had always stuck out in my mind as not just outstanding teachers, but some of the most caring, genuine and positive people that I had come across during my time growing up in Danbury,” Frucht said. “I felt immediately compelled to write something in memory of her and the other 25 people who lost their lives that day.”
He goes on to say, “I titled the piece ‘Dawn’ not simply because it is dedicated to her, but because the nature of Dawn’s actions on the day of shooting are the inspiration for the character of this piece,” he said.
“When she became aware that her school was in danger, her immediate response was to protect the children of the school,” Frucht said. “She put herself in harm’s way in an entirely selfless act in an effort to save the lives of her students. Her legacy is one of selflessness, positivity and extraordinary courage. This piece celebrates that legacy.”