Interactive: North Carolina Symphony Blog
The North Carolina Symphony will feature father and son - Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane - in exciting concerts in Raleigh and Chapel Hill on Saturday and Monday. The program includes Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, performed and conducted by Jeffrey Kahane; the world premiere of a work by Gabriel Kahane commissioned by the North Carolina Symphony called "Hard-Circus Road" (more about how it got its title later); selections from the Gershwin Songbook performed by both Kahanes; and "Gabriel's Guide to the 48 States," also by Gabriel Kahane.
About the Program
Maurice Ravel’s Concerto in G Major for Piano and Orchestra music demonstrates the influence of the early jazz that was making its way to Europe from America, and sets the stage for the world premiere of Gabriel Kahane’s piece, “Hard-Circus Road.” The title refers to a conversation that Symphony Music Director Benjamin Swalin had with a young girl while on tour in the North Carolina mountains in the 1940s. When he asked her if she lived around there, she pointed across the asphalt and concrete highway and replied, “Yes sir, right over yonder ‘side the hard-circus road.” Mr. Swalin said that when he heard that particular pronunciation of “hard surface road,” he knew he had the title of his memoir.
Composer Gabriel Kahane says, “I have tried to honor the great history of the North Carolina Symphony while reflecting more generally on the frequently grueling life of that particular specimen, the touring musician.” Following “Hard-Circus Road,” the first half of the program will be bookended by Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane performing from the songbook of one of Ravel’s influences — George Gershwin.
After intermission, Gabriel Kahane and the North Carolina Symphony will perform his orchestral song cycle, “Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States,” whose text is adapted from The American Guide Series, produced in the 1930s by the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration, with additional prose supplied by Harry Hopkins, one of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s closest advisers and a chief architect of the New Deal.
We look forward to seeing you!