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N.E. Philharmonic to premiere Peter Child choral work March 4

Professor of music Peter Child.
Professor of music Peter Child.

MIT composer Peter Child may have been born in England, but these days he's steeped in "Americana."

"Americana" is the title of a program to be presented by the New England Philharmonic, where Child is composer in residence. The program will include the world premiere of Child's choral piece, "The Sifting: Three Songs of Longfellow."

The orchestra presents "Americana" on Saturday, March 4, in Kresge Auditorium at 8 p.m. Admission is free with an MIT ID.

"The Sifting" will be performed with the Simmons College Chorale, directed by Sharon Brown, and the Boston Conservatory's Women's Chorus, directed by Miguel Felipe.

Child selected the three Longfellow poems with the Philharmonic's theme in mind, he said. The trio express a "compelling Romantic philosophy," he said.

"They condemn worldly ambition, express a sense of ideal reality that underlies appearance and everyday illusion, and extol a sense of divinity contained in human beings. It is this 'transcendentalist' quality, combined with their lyricism, that attracted me," Child writes in his program notes.

The concert will also include Elliott Carter's "Variations for Orchestra"; Gunther Schuller's "Violin Concerto No. 2" (Danielle Maddon, violin); and Charles Ives' "Three Places in New England."

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A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 1, 2006 (download PDF).

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