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Saint Paul SundayFeatured Artist

Bill McGlaughlin & the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Bill McGlaughlin and Aaron's Horizons
  Bill McGlaughlin
  Composer and St. Paul Sunday host Bill McGlaughlin

Many Saint Paul Sunday fans don't realize that the lightly worn musical erudition Bill McGlaughlin brings each week to the series springs from a number of deep sources. Since concluding a 13-year tenure as music director and conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, McGlaughlin's energies have turned to composing. He was recently plucked from a nationwide field of 350 to compose a major new work for a major cultural initiative co-commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Composers Forum. Dubbed "Continental Harmony," the project selects composers to write works for each American state during the millennial year.

Bill writes, "The inspiration to compose Aaron's Horizons came from necessity. We were putting together a show with members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for the American Symphony Orchestra League and I'd settled on Appalachian Spring in the original 13-player orchestration, which I've always loved and have conducted many times. I also was thinking of the time in the 1970s when Mr. Copland and I took the SPCO on tour. Aaron would conduct the first half of the concert, including Appalachian Spring, and I'd take over for the second half.

"Copland's instrumentation is unusual; in fact, it was dictated by the size of the space allowed for the orchestra at the premiere, which was given in the auditorium of the Library of Congress. I decided to take advantage of this particular orchestra and try my hand at a piece that might reflect my love of Copland's work and my admiration for the man, including my gratitude for the kindness and respect he always showed me. The result was Aaron's Horizons, which was largely composed while walking along the Missouri River."

Members of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra:
Leslie Shank, violin
Elsa Nilsson, violin
Tom Kornacker, violin
Carolyn Daws, violin
Tamas Strasser, viola
Alice Preves, viola
Joshua Koestenbaum, cello
Sarah Lewis, cello
Christopher Brown, bass
Julia Bogorad, flute
Burt Hara, clarinet
Carole Smith, bassoon
Layton James, piano

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Web site:

Orchestra Discography: Currently Available Releases

Read more about Antonín Dvorák's American connections: Maestro in the Midwest: A Look at Antonín Dvorák and His Years in America


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