REDCAT celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heroes with the West Coast premiere of lauded Dutch composer Yotam Haber’s opus, A More Convenient Season. The 75-minute, three-movement work will be performed on Jan. 25-26 by the CalArts Orchestra and Choral Ensemble under the direction of faculty Mark Menzies.
Premiering in September by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, the piece commemorates watershed events of the Civil Rights Movement that took place in Birmingham in 1963, including the fatal bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The piece’s title is taken from a key phrase in Dr. King’s seminal Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and the oratorio’s text incorporates writings by Dr. King, oral histories as well as FBI records from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
The work features four soloists in addition to the CalArts’ full orchestra and vocal ensemble, as well as a live soundscape by composer Philip White and a silent documentary directed by filmmaker David Peterson.
View a PDF of the full score via Haber’s website here.
The Los Angeles Times recently named Haber one of the Faces to Watch 2014: Classical music. In the video above, the Associated Press reports on the premiere of the work last year.