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Dear Friends of Orchestra 2001,
Orchestra 2001's 2011-12 season, our 24th, featured collaborations with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, with Swarthmore College’s Gamelan Semara Santi, and with electronics wizard Peter Price. The season also featured an overview of music by the great composer-conductor Pierre Boulez, with one work by him on each of our programs. Highlights of the season included the world premieres of new works composed for Orchestra 2001 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb and by Swarthmore professor Thomas Whitman.
Our concerts in October with the Mendelssohn Club were presented to large audiences at Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia and at Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College. Titled “Northern Lights and Mystical Masterpieces,” the program included Henryk Gorecki’s “Totus Tuus,” John Adams’s “Shaker Loops,” and the area premieres of Boulez’s “Messagesquisse” and Arvo Pärt’s “Adam’s Lament.” Said the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns, it was a concert “that could have sent you out into Rittenhouse Square a foot or two above the ground.”
In January, we presented the world premiere of the 7th and final volume of George Crumb’s monumental “American Songbook” cycle, “Voices from the Heartland,” with soprano Ann Crumb and baritone Patrick Mason. Violinist Gloria Justen was the amazing soloist in the area premiere of Boulez’s “Anthèmes II” for violin and live electronics, and joined us in another area premiere, Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s “Letter from Cathy.” Stearns’s final sentence: “Orchestra 2001's director, James Freeman, indeed assembled a great concert."
Our April concerts featured mezzo-soprano Freda Herseth in Gerald Levinson’s song cycle “Black Magic/White Magic,” Boulez’s “Dérive I,” Swarthmore College’s Gamelan Semara Santi, the Indonesian Cultural Club Dancers, and a world premiere by Thomas Whitman, “Inside/Outside,” in which Orchestra 2001 was joined by the gamelan. Said the Broad Street Review’s Tom Purdom, “Inside/Outside closed the concert with a conclusion that felt like a happy arrival at the end of a journey.” And David Patrick Stearns began his review with the following: “Starting a program with Pierre Boulez, that paragon of cerebral modernism, and ending it with Balinese ensembles and dancers is your basic day at the office for Orchestra 2001, the Swarthmore-based modern-music ensemble that shrinks from little.”
Meanwhile, our most recent CD for Innova Records, “To the Point,” is receiving rave reviews. Said Fanfare Magazine’s correspondent in the September/October 2011 issue, “Orchestra 2001, under the very able leadership of its founder and conductor, James Freeman, has done as much as any ensemble I know of to promote, perform, and record new works by American composers…. Go buy this CD now. You’ll thank me after you hear it.”
James Freeman, Artistic Director