by Mike Telin
When Stephen Hartke composed his piano concerto Ship of State in 2017, he purposely wrote a piece that would send a S.O.S. to listeners that all was not going well for civilization. “The process of undergoing the emotional journey of writing a piece changes who you are,” Hartke said during an interview in his studio at the Oberlin Conservatory where he is chair of the Composition Department.
But having recently completed Da Pacem, his new concerto for cello and orchestra, the Grammy-winning composer said he feels “a little more serene” than when he began the work. “I had a lot of fun writing the piano concerto, but that was more of a violent roller coaster, while this piece seeks closure.”
On Wednesday, December 12 at 8:00 pm in Finney Chapel, cellist Darrett Adkins will perform the world premiere of Da Pacem with the Oberlin Orchestra under the direction of Robert Spano. The program will also include Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Orchestra. (Da Pacem was commissioned by Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival, and the American Composers Orchestra.) [Read on…]