Info: (901) 751-7669 • Tix: (901) 751-7500

Program Notes

Partner: Memphis College of Art

Smetana: The Moldau
Virgil Thomson: The River
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish”

The Mississippi created the mid-South. With this concert, we pay tribute the world’s great rivers, which have shaped human history and inspired musicians for centuries. We open with Smetana’s “The Moldau,” one of the most haunting river pieces ever composed. It conveys the centrality of the river to the Czech composer’s Bohemian national pride. The heart of the program is inspired by the great Mississippi: Virgil Thompson’s infectiously tuneful “The River,” was written for a WPA documentary. Each movement, based on a traditional hymn, depicts the river’s impact on the region. The Rhine, and the life on its banks, courses through every movement of Schumann’s great “Rhenish” Symphony.

Just as the great rivers of the world have inspired the world’s great composers, so many of the world’s great artists have drawn inspiration from music. With this concert, IRIS will host a month-long exhibition at GPAC of artwork created by students at the Memphis College of Art that responds either to the Mississippi River and its role in the region’s history and current life, or directly to the music on the program. Our partner for this concert, the Memphis College of Art, shares IRIS’s commitment to mentoring the next generation of great artists. MCA draws students from 25 states and counts among its prestigious alumni a winner of the Golden Lion for artists under 40 at the Venice Biennale and the Hugo Boss Prize from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Memphis_College_of_Art_logo