Symphony Concert to Feature World Premiere of Alumnus’s Orchestration

November 08, 2018

Event Information

Time: 7:30 p.m.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 10
Place: Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell

Symphony Conductor and Professor of Music Eric McIntyre asked Brian Cavanagh-Strong ’09 to create the orchestral version of A Gardener. Cavanagh-Strong is on campus this week along with guest soloist Eric S. Brenner to assist orchestra students in preparing for the premiere. As a countertenor, Brenner has the highest male adult singing voice.

Cavanagh-Strong first composed A Gardener with Jonathan Larson Award-winner Benjamin Bonnema. The monodrama, a short dramatic musical scene for piano and vocal soloist, was premiered in New York City with Brenner as soloist. The short opera was commissioned by American Opera Projects in collaboration with Fort Greene Parks Conservancy in New York and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

The program also includes Czech composer Bedřich Smetana’s Vyšehrad from Má Vlast and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Event Sponsor

Department of Music

Performer Bios

After earning his bachelor’s degree in music, Cavanagh-Strong went on to the Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in musical theater writing. He now works in New York City as a composer, teacher, pianist, and musical director. He was musical director for Saints Rest, a movie filmed in Grinnell and co-written and directed by Noga Ashkenazi ’09. His music has found a place in theater, musical theater, operatic theater, film, and television.

The New York Times has praised countertenor Eric S. Brenner for his “astonishing solo singing” and “penetrating eloquence.” Since his solo debut in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at Cornell University, Brenner has performed with some of the world’s finest conductors in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.