The Chelsea Symphony’s May 18 & 19 Concerts Features Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum, her artistic response to recent events of police brutality

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The Chelsea Symphony’s May 18 & 19 Concerts Features Courtney Bryan’s Sanctum, her artistic response to recent events of police brutality

The concert series also includes Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Eric Ewazen’s Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and String Orchestra, and Antonin Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A Minor

Soloists for this concert include violinist Bryn Digney and bass trombonist Owen Caprell

For Immediate Release – (New York, NY) The Chelsea Symphony‘s (TCS) May 18 &19 concerts, “Rebirth,” of their 2018-2019 season Resolution which reflects on social action, features the great controversial work, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, called by the composer “a Soviet artist’s creative response to just criticism.”

Dmitri Shostakovich premiered his Symphony No. 5 in 1937 in Leningrad. The work, particularly the fourth movement, utilizes musical material from his own song, Vozrozhdenije, composed just before the symphony, which sets a poem by Alexander Pushkin commonly known as Rebirth, which is the inspiration for this concert series title. The denunciation of his work by the Soviet government is well documented, however, and what follows the premiere is mired in controversy.

Beginning both concerts is Courtney Bryan‘s Sanctum, originally written for the American Composers Orchestra in 2015. The work by the New Orleans native is for orchestra and recorded sound and explores the sonic atmospheres of improvisation in Holiness-preaching traditions. Bryan drew inspiration from recorded sermons, The Praying Slave Lady by Pastor Shirley Caesar, The Eagle Stirs His Nest by Reverend C. L. Franklin, and Reverend Charles Albert Tindley’s hymn, Stand By Me. Included in the recorded sound are the voices of Marlene Pinnock and of activists in Ferguson, Missouri from 2014. Sanctum is Bryan’s artistic response to recent events of police brutality.

Saturday evening’s concert features the Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A Minor with Bryn Digney as soloist. Sunday afternoon’s concert presents bass trombonist Owen Caprell in Eric Ewazen’s Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and String Orchestra.

Last season’s concerts featured an Earth Day celebration performing John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean under the whale in the American Museum of Natural History, which was hailed by Lucid Culture as an “epic, intense, mightily enveloping concert.” The Chelsea Symphony is also known for their outreach concerts with the inmates at Rikers Island. TCS has performed as the whole orchestra and small wind or string ensembles to the facility and continues to engage with the inmates several times each year.

Offering seven concert series from September 2018 through June 2019, each performance in The Chelsea Symphony’s 2018/19 Resolution season features orchestral works with a focus on social action.

Every concert by The Chelsea Symphony features soloists, composers, and conductors taken from the ensemble. This is a collective of New York City professional freelancers coming together to create meaningful, self-governed concerts—a unique model in the classical world.

Premium unassigned seating in special reserved areas on sale now on Eventbrite!

Limited day-of tickets are available at the door for a suggested donation of $20.



Listing Information

Saturday, May 18 at 8pm
Sunday, May 19 at 2pm

The Chelsea Symphony
Conducted by 
Reuben Blundell and Nell Flanders
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music (450 West 37th Street)
$25 reserved premium general seating on sale at Eventbrite.
$20 suggested donation seating available at the door.

Courtney Bryan: Sanctum
Antonín Dvořák: Violin Concerto in A Minor, op. 53, Bryn Digney, Violin (Saturday 5/18 only)
Eric Ewazen: Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and String Orchestra, Owen Caprell, Bass Trombone (Sunday 5/19 only)
Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, op. 47


About The Chelsea Symphony

The Chelsea Symphony, hailed as an “enterprising group of young musicians” by Time Out, upends the traditional hierarchy of the classical orchestra: members rotate as featured soloists, conductors, and composers. The self-governing ensemble aims to be a cultural focus for Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood and to present vibrant concerts of inspiring symphonic music both old and new. In recent years, The Chelsea Symphony has expanded its reach with performances at Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Symphony Space, Bargemusic, the United Palace Theatre, and New York Fashion Week. In December 2014, The Chelsea Symphony performed at Alice Tully Hall for the premiere of the Golden Globe winning Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle. Musicians from the orchestra can also be seen in the critically acclaimed series: seasons 1–3 are now available on and season 4 will be released on February 16. In the 2016-17 season, The Chelsea Symphony launched an ambitious outreach initiative in collaboration with the New York City Department of Correction, becoming the first orchestra to present programming at Rikers Island Correctional Facility.

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