NEW BRITAIN – Movements like Black Lives Matter have inspired a new musical series that will unfold over the next two years.
The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra launched “We the People: American Immigrant Stories in Music” at the New Britain Museum of American Art on Sunday.
Artistic director Adrian Sylveen told his audience how the series came to be.
“Conceptually, it was my artistic response to the intolerances of our society,” he explained. “I wanted to show that we are all immigrants in this country. The whole series will be about different angles where we come from.
Sunday’s concert featured the music of Italian-American composer Ernesto Ferreri, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Italy before he was born.
The members of the orchestra performed Ferreri’s world premiere composition, String Symphony.
They also played several works by their fellow Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, including Antiche danze and arie per liuto, Suite n° 3.
“We the People: Immigrants’ Stories, Part 2” will take place at the NBMAA on Sunday, June 12. This event will feature the music of Russian and Jewish composer Alex Nakhimovsky.
Sylveen has five events planned in total, but hopes to continue the series after they conclude.
“I’m delighted to have found a relatively unknown composer from Italy,” he said. “He represents a certain segment of our society. Other events will feature music from Palestinian, Polish, African American and other cultures. We hope it will go beyond these five concerts if we get the resources to explore more of our country’s diversity.
Apart from this particular series, the CT Virtuosi has several other upcoming events.
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat will take place on Sunday, April 24 at St. Cyril & Methodius Church in Hartford. Then, on May 6, the Virtuosi will present a full opera production with the CT Lyric Opera featuring the music of George Frideric Handel, at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain.
For more information on these concerts and more to come, visit thevirtuosi.org.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at [email protected]