West Coast Premier of Zosha Di Castri’s Lineage, The First New Voices Commission



Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) will conduct the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in the West Coast premiere of Zosha Di Castri’s New Voices commission Lineage and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3 September 11 and 14 at Davies Symphony Hall and September 12 in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. Yefim Bronfman joins the Orchestra for performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at these concerts.

Composer Zosha Di Castri

New Voices is a new creative partnership between MTT, the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes that commissions an emerging composer annually and offers them further development of these new works at the New World Symphony as well as guidance in publishing from Boosey & Hawkes. New Voices commissions are premiered by Michael Tilson Thomas with the New World Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony.  The New Voices project began in May 2012 and Zosha Di Castri is the inaugural recipient.  Her work Lineage had its world premiere at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach on April 20, 2013.


Zosha Di Castri is a Canadian composer and pianist. She is currently finishing her doctoral studies in composition at Columbia University, where she also teaches composition, electronic music, and music history. Her work has been performed in Canada, the US, and Europe by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie, L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, the NEM, JACK Quartet, L’Orchestre national de Lorraine, members of the L.A. Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Talea Ensemble. Di Castri has participated in residencies at the Banff Center, Domaine Forget, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne’s Forum, and the National Arts Centre’s summer program. She was named a laureate of the 3rd International Composer’s Competition for the Hamburger Klangwerktage Festival, won two SOCAN Foundation awards for her chamber music in 2011, and in 2012, tied for the John Weinzweig Grand Prize for her first orchestra piece Alba, commissioned by John Adams and Deborah O’Grady and premiered at the Cabrillo Festival in 2011. Recently, her work Cortège garnered her the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. Di Castri’s work includes interdisciplinary collaborations in the realms of electronic music, sound installation, video, performance art, and contemporary dance. Her latest mixed-media works include Akkord I for flute, piano, electronics, and large sculpture, and a collaboration with choreographer Thomas Hauert of the ZOO Contemporary Dance Company on a new piece for electronics and dance at Ircam in Paris. She is also creating a new evening-length work for ICE in collaboration with David Adamcyk for ICElab 2014.


Di Castri described her inspiration for Lineage on video explaining, “In Lineage, I was interested in exploring the idea of what is passed down. As a kid, I loved listening to my grandparents tell stories about “the old country” or of life in the village or on the farm. These tales were at once so real through their repetition, and yet at the same time were so foreign and removed from my own personal experience. Thinking of this, I hoped to create a piece in which certain elements are kept constant while others are continually altered, adopted, or are added on, creating an ever-evolving narrative.” DiCastri’s eleven-minute Lineage is her second work for orchestra. Later this season the SFS percussion section will perform the West Coast premiere of her second New Voices commission, Manif, a chamber work for percussion quartet.


Pianist Yefim Bronfman, affectionately known as Fima, has been a frequent guest of the San Francisco Symphony since 1984. He last performed with MTT and the Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall and the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in December 2012 in concerts of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. Among his recent recordings is one of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with Mariss Jansons and the Bayerischer Rundfunk (2007) on Sony. He performed Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2, commissioned for him, with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic and released on the Da Capo label. This year The Wall Street Journal praised Bronfman as “a fearless pianist for whom no score is too demanding,” and added, “…a more poetic touch has lately complemented his brawny prowess.”  He talks about Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in this video.


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