St.Clair to conduct USC Thornton Symphony at Disney Concert Hall
USC Thornton School of Music Principal Conductor Carl St.Clair will lead the USC Thornton Symphony in a performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Suite and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet on Jan. 27 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The former piece will feature soprano Angela Brown and baritone Kevin Deas; USC Thornton assistant professor of choral music Cristian Grases prepared the USC Thornton Concert Choir.
“Angela and Kevin deliver the roles of Bess and Porgy in such a deeply heartfelt and authentic way that I wanted our students to experience their profound musical souls and the interpretations which rise from within them,” St.Clair said. “Interestingly, both Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet were composed in the same year — continents and cultures apart.
“These two masterworks express the most basic of human feelings — love, longing, elation and tragedy — in such distant musical languages yet capture those powerful emotions in their own special way,” he added. “Combining these two works, especially back to back without intermission, will offer the audience and our students a juxtaposition of musical worlds not often experienced in the concert hall.”
In his newly expanded appointment as artistic leader of USC Thornton orchestras, St.Clair is working with the school and fellow faculty members to carefully choose the repertoire, guest conductors and artists, as well as to oversee educational goals for the overall orchestral program at USC.
“I could not be more excited about Carl having a greater presence in our school,” said Robert A. Cutietta, dean of USC Thornton. “He is already putting his artistic stamp on our orchestra. Our students love working with him and rise to new artistic heights every time he is on the podium.”
Reflecting on his new role, St.Clair said: “The difference is that I will be doing more than just conducting and teaching. I will be creating the season and the musical diet for a particular year for the students through choosing the guest conductors and artists, programming, and integrating my philosophy of what is more important for them to take away from the educational experience.
“I am working more closely with the faculty, especially my fellow conductors, to develop the education outlets and be a bigger part of the USC Thornton family.”
The Jan. 27 performance is part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Sounds About Town series. It is one of four concerts St.Clair will conduct with the USC Thornton Symphony this season.
The concert has been made possible in part by the Flora L. Thornton Foundation and the Henry Family Fund. It is sponsored by Classical KUSC 91.5 FM.
For ticket information, visit www.laphil.com or call (323) 850-2000.