This past weekend, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performed Patrick Harlin‘s work “Rapture” as a part of their concerts on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28 at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis.
Harlin, who currently is working on a DMA at the University of Michigan, was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival. His work was brought to the attention of the SLSO and music director David Robertson though a new collaborative effort launched this year by the orchestra and the Mizzou New Music Initiative.
Arriving in St. Louis on Tuesday night, Harlin was able to attend rehearsals with the orchestra during the week and discuss his composition in depth with guest conductor Stéphane Denève, who led the SLSO for the program. He also was interviewed about the concerts on Radio Arts Foundation – St. Louis, and by Michigan Radio, the NPR affiliate in Ann Arbor, MI.
During the concerts, Harlin was introduced from the stage by Denève, and got to take a bow before an appreciative audience (pictured, above left). The work also was heard on radio by listeners throughout the region as part of the orchestra’s Saturday night broadcast on KWMU (90.7 FM).
Reviewing the weekend’s program for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, classical music Sarah Bryan Miller had nice things to say about Rapture, noting the work’s “minimalist roots, jazzy elements and strong hints of the ‘Dies irae.’ ”
“It grows from simplicity into complexity, with a boffo finish, and it got a smart performance from all concerned: groovy indeed,” Miller wrote.
Harlin’s next project involves a trip to the Amazon River in South America, where he’ll record environmental sounds as part of his work toward his doctorate.
Here in Missouri, the collaboration between MNMI and the St. Louis Symphony will continue when the orchestra plays “Ravish and Mayhem,” written by Mizzou alumnae and 2012 MICF resident composer Stephanie Berg, at concerts on January 10 and 11, 2014 at Powell Hall.