Iris Orchestra’s 20th Anniversary Season
Subscriptions to both series are available now by calling the Iris Orchestra office at (901) 751-7669.
2019–2020 Saturday Series
A Classic Orchestral Evening
GPAC at 7:30 PM
Conrad Tao: “Spoonfuls” (Iris Orchestra commissioned work celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the City of Memphis)
Haydn: Symphony No. 101
Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1
Iris looks to the past, present, and future in this can’t-miss program. Conrad Tao, a composer and pianist currently taking the classical world by storm, will exercise both talents on this program as the soloist in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 and the composer of an Iris-commissioned piece exploring Memphis’ unique musical heritage in honor of our city’s bicentennial. In his Memphis-inspired composition, the chords of Charlie Patton’s “A Spoonful Blues” are refracted and fall through trapdoors. Regarding the piece, Tao states, “I love how, in the song’s 1929 recording, the meter seems stable at first but gets pulled apart as the song progresses, moving beyond a single time signature and into a more elusive, groovy rhythmic space. It is this space — both grounded and intuitively free — I aim to explore.” Balancing something old with something new, we’ll also present Haydn’s “Clock” Symphony, another year-one piece for Iris. Iris has a history of presenting the rising young stars of today. What better time to deliver on that legacy than in our 20th season!
Stravinsky: Concerto in E-flat “Dumbarton Oaks”
Schoenberg: Orchard in Fog Violin Concerto
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Copland: Appalachian Spring
Kernis: Too Hot Toccata
Iris’ vision of great orchestral literature has always included a focus on American music and commissioned new works. Iconic Iris, this program features American composers Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber. Also on the program, Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” was named for the Washington D.C.-area estate of the couple who commissioned the concerto for their wedding anniversary. Iris Orchestra gave American composer Adam Schoenberg his first orchestral commission with “Finding Rothko” in 2007. In this program, Schoenberg’s most recent concerto will be performed by Anne-Akiko Meyers, the virtuoso violinist for whom he wrote the piece. From Iris’ perspective, this program is as varied and diverse as America itself.
Jonathan Leshnoff: “Score” (commissioned work celebrating Iris’ 20th anniversary)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3
Our year-end party for Iris Orchestra’s 20th season looks forward while celebrating our past. Twenty-five years old and new on the scene, American violinist Nancy Zhou will perform Tchaikovsky’s emblematic Violin Concerto. Her rendition of the piece won her the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition in 2018. Opening the program is a composition specially commissioned in celebration of our 20th anniversary, a gift from our good friend Jonathan Leshnoff, the Baltimore-based composer distinguished by The New York Times as “a leader of contemporary American lyricism.” We return to our roots to conclude our 20th season the same way we ended our first: with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, the “Scottish.” Happy Birthday, Iris!
2019–2020 Sunday Series
An Afternoon of Music & Art
Brooks Museum at 3:00 PM
IRIS AT THE BROOKS
Guest Artist: Conrad Tao, composition & piano
Beethoven: Cello Sonata No.1 in F Major Op.5
Conrad Tao: “All I had forgotten or tried to”
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31, No.2
Pianist and composer Conrad Tao will perform pieces by Beethoven and others alongside Iris musicians at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Hohenberg Auditorium. The featured exhibition for January 26th concert is Rotunda Project: E.V. Day. Artist E.V. Day has repurposed costumes from the New York City Opera archives to make sculptures that transform familiar icons of women’s empowerment and entrapment into new objects that confound conventional readings of these clichés. Using tension to suspend, stretch, and shred garments and to create forms that the artist likens to futurist abstract paintings in three dimensions, Day has created work that transforms rigid symbols into a range of emotions: anxiety, ecstasy, liberation, and release.
IRIS AT THE BROOKS
Guest Artist: Anne-Akiko Meyers, violin
Michio Miyagi: ‘Haru no Umi’ (Sea in Spring) for violin/harp
Rentaro Taki: ‘Kojo no Tsuki’ (Moonlight Over the Ruined Castle)
Beethoven: String Trio in G Major, Op.9, No.1
Violinist Anne-Akiko Meyers will perform pieces by Beethoven and others alongside Iris musicians at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Hohenberg Auditorium. Each concert is paired with a featured Brooks Museum exhibition and a reception. The featured exhibition for March 8th concert is Native Voices: Art for a New Understanding, 1950s to Now. This exhibition is the first to chart a development of contemporary Indigenous art from the United States and Canada from the 1950s to the present. The exhibition presents approximately 60 works of art by the most important Native American artists from many nations and regions. Along with important works from the 1950s to 1990s, the exhibition will feature contemporary work in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, textiles, video, installation, and performance art.
IRIS AT THE BROOKS
Guest Artist: Nancy Zhou, violin
Beethoven: Violin Sonata No.6 in A Major, Op.30
Grieg: Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor, Op.45
Violinist Nancy Zhou will perform pieces by Beethoven and others alongside Iris musicians at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Hohenberg Auditorium. Each concert is paired with a featured Brooks Museum exhibition and a reception. Featured Brooks Art Exhibition: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Permanent Collection.