ASO World Premiere Concert Explores ‘What It Means To Create’ | WABE 90.1 FM

ASO World Premiere Concert Explores ‘What It Means To Create’

Apr 21, 2015

Robert Spano, the ASO music director, will be collaborating once again with composer Christopher Theofanidis.
Credit Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

On Thursday and Saturday, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and a host of actors, soloists and other special guests will perform the world premiere of a new piece by Christopher Theofanidis that is no ordinary composition.

"Creation/Creator" is the latest in the ASO’s A Theater of a Concert series, and it blends the auditory and the visual by harmonizing images with a live orchestra performance.

This novel, 15-movement work, which stems from a partnership between ASO, Emory University and the Georgia Humanities Council, takes words and ideas from philosophy, poetry, science, religion and literature.

On “City Lights,” Theofanidis and ASO music director and maestro Robert Spano talked with host Lois Reitzes about the essence of “Creation/Creator” and the preparations that have gone into such an ambitious collaboration.

“What he does so brilliantly is give us so many perspectives to contemplate,” Spano said of Theofanidis, “and yet those things all relate to one another.”

Stage director James Alexander will be working on his seventh collaboration with ASO.

The creative works that Theofanidis fuses in “Creation/Creator” range from the 13th century Persian poet Rumi (“Elephant in the Dark”) to 20th century physicist Richard Feynman.

“Behind science and religion and art is this impulse toward joy ... toward a great awakening in a way,” said Theofanidis, a longtime member of the Atlanta School of Composers.

The concerts, which begin at 8 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Symphony Hall, will be recorded for a forthcoming CD release of “Creation/Creator.”