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Iris Orchestra & Memphis Symphony Orchestra Fellows Recital

Sunday, April 11, 2021 3:00 PM

Overton Square’s Chime Square Amphitheater

Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893):     
“Souvenir de Florence”

I. Adagio cantabile e con moto
II. Allegro con brio e vivace     

Marisa Polesky, Violin
Allison Lovera, Violin
Katie Brown, Viola
Amaro Dubois, Viola
Carrington Truehart, Cello
Estefan Perez, Cello


Caroline Shaw (b. 1982):

Limestone and Felt

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992):


Amaro Dubois, Viola
Carrington Truehart, Cello

Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941):
Three Spirituals

I. We Shall Overcome
II. Kum Ba Yah
III. Great Day

Allison Lovera, Violin
Katie Brown, Viola
Estefan Perez, Cello


Brian Nabors (b. 1991):

Allison, Lovera, Violin
Amaro Dubois, Viola
Katie Brown, Viola
Estefan Perez, Cello
Carrington Truehart, Cello

Project Description


The world premiere recorded performance of “Caged” by mid-south composer, Brain Raphael Nabors, is a testament to the collaborative nature of music and the power of collective purpose. Iris Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra commissioned Nabors to compose a work for a chamber ensemble made up of the MSO and Iris Fellows- a quintet for one violin, two violas, and two cellos. The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music rounded out the collaboration by providing regular chamber coaching for the ensemble as part of the Chamber Strings Class. Fellows and RESSOM faculty met via Zoom with Nabors to discuss inspiration for the piece, and “Caged” was born of those discussions.

“Caged was written for the wonderful fellows of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Iris Orchestra as a collaborative effort to further a commitment of providing the gift of music to the community while in the midst of the COVID-1 9 pandemic.

Caged is an energetic, rhapsodic journey geared toward carrying the listener through a range of emotions. As with much of my work, I sought to pair the barbarous with the deeply introspective, throwing in a couple of grooves along the way. I feel it as a work to “let loose” so to speak and release much of the restrictive tension quarantine and the pandemic as a whole has brought upon us. It is written in an ABA’ form with the last section mirroring the first in terms of emotional drive. The middle section serves as the heart of the work and is an inward reconciling of the grief many of us feel from this difficult time.

Although we feel caged at the moment, what a gift it is to have something so powerful as music continue to lift our spirits and eventually pull us through to the other side.” – Brian Raphael Nabors ( 2020)

Following the virtual premiere hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy on April 4th, “Caged” will premiere live on April 11, 2021 at Overton Square at 3:00 PM. It will be the featured piece in a chamber concert performed by the Iris and MSO Fellows. The concert is free, but reservations are required. (Link for reservations coming soon.) Brian Raphael Nabors will attend the April 11th concert and speak about the inspiration and creative process for his work.

The Musicians

Iris Orchestra’s Iris Artist Fellows Program

Now in its 5th season, the Iris Artist Fellowship offers emerging musicians from historically underrepresented populations in classical music a year of outstanding performance experience and hands on training in teaching artistry, orchestral & chamber performance, and community involvement. With a focus on impacting the Greater Memphis community, the Iris Fellowship emphasizes youth development, community building projects, and community collaborations.

Amaro Dubois, viola

Brazilian violist and Iris Artist Fellow Amaro Dubois earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance (with a specialty in chamber music) from the Brazilian Conservatory of Music and his Master’s Degree in Viola Performance from the University of Alabama. Along with regional performance engagements, Dubois mentors string students throughout the Greater Memphis area and is working with Brazilian composer, E. Villani- Cortes, to release the debut recording of his masterworks for viola and piano.


Carrington Truehart, cello

Iris Fellow and Memphis native, Carrington Truehart received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Memphis. He maintains an active schedule performing with area orchestras and ensembles and using music to teach Social-Emotional Learning to Memphis students.


Memphis Symphony Orchestra & University of Memphis Fellowship Program

The newly launched MSO / University of Memphis Fellowship Program is a prestigious two-year performance fellowship program for exceptional graduate and post-graduate violin, viola, and cello players coming from African American and Latinx communities that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The Fellowship program was envisioned by the MSO Circle of Friends, as a women’s philanthropic initiative that recognizes the importance of people from different social networks coming together to work as an instrument of intentional inclusion through the performing arts.


Kathryn (Katie) Brown, violin

Violist Kathryn (Katie) Brown is the recipient of Ellen Cooper Klyce & Martha Milford Boyd Fellowship. Ms. Brown recently completed a dual masters program in education and performance from the renowned Eastman School of Music.


Allison Lovera, violin

Violinist Allison Lovera is the recipient of The Judith And Sheldon Korones Memorial Fellow. Ms. Lovera, originally from Venezuela, attended the Latin American Violin Academy before graduating from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, with a Bachelor in Violin Performance in 2019.


Estefan Perez, cello

Cellist Estefan Perez is the recipient of The Rebecca Webb Wilson Fellowship. Perez graduated from The Hartt School in May 2020 with an undergraduate degree in Cello Performance.

PLUS special guest Marisa Polesky of Iris Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra

Violinist Marisa Polesky is the Associate Concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and a member of Iris Orchestra. Besides her busy performance schedule, Polesky devotes much of her time teaching and mentoring Memphis youth through her work with the Memphis Music Initiative and a thriving private violin studio.

Brian Raphael Nabors
Composer and Pianist


Brian Raphael Nabors (b.1991, Birmingham, AL) is a composer of emotionally enriching music that tells exciting narratives with its vibrant themes and colorful harmonic language. Nabors’ music has been performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and ROCO Chamber Orchestra.

He was named a 2019 composer fellow in the American Composer’s Orchestra Earshot program with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; a 2019 composer fellow with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s Composer Lab; and 2019 cycle five grand prize winner of the Rapido! National Composition Contest by judges Robert Spano, Jennifer Higdon, and Michael Gandolfi. Nabors is also a 2020 Fulbright scholarship recipient to Sydney, Australia, studying with composer Carl Vine at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

He is currently Visiting Artist Faculty at the School of the Arts at Samford University. In summer 2021 he is serving as composition faculty with composer Gabriela Lena Frank at the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland and as guest faculty at the CCM Composer/Conductor Boot Camp in Cincinnati, OH with composer Michael Fiday.

Nabors earned both a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degree in Composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he studied with Douglas Knehans, Ellen Ruth Harrison and Miguel A. Roig-Francolí. Prior to graduate studies, he obtained a Bachelor of Music Theory & Composition degree from the School of the Arts at Samford University, where he studied composition with Sarana Chou and piano with Kathryn Fouse.