Berklee World Strings, directed by Eugene Friesen, presents a program of original work entitled Bright Colors on Dark Canvas.
The concert will include an original suite for soloists and strings by Palestinian composer/cellist Naseem Alatrash, music that will spotlight Naseem’s extraordinary improvising in Arabic style along with jazz virtuosi pianist Chase Morrin and percussionist George Lernis.
Also featured will be cellist Adam Mandela Walden. Adam was diagnosed (by Oliver Sacks) at age 8 to be a “prodigious savant.” Adam’s remarkable musical gifts will be showcased in a suite of pieces that include the prose of another autistic savant, thirteen-year-old Naoki Higashida, from his international best-selling book, “The Reason I Jump.” Offering glimpses of the inner world of people with autism, Higashida’s words will be spoken and musically illustrated by Adam Walden with the orchestra.
Berklee World Strings is made up of string players from all around the world who bring unique musical backgrounds and styles into a cohesive and original whole. The orchestra’s Vermont program will include new work by three current members: Chilean violinist Brian Urra’s “Dignidad Para Todos;” violinist/violist Rebecca MacInnes will be featured in her spirited arrangement of Transylvanian folk melodies; Maine fiddler Helen Newell will be the soloist in her original piece “7:08.”
Director and Berklee College of Music professor Eugene Friesen is a Vermont resident, and four-time Grammy-winning cellist and composer who founded World Strings in 2010. The ensemble has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., at numerous gatherings of the American String Teachers Association, in schools and in concerts throughout New England, and in dozens of concerts livestreamed globally from the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.
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This performance is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.