Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

"Tchaikovsky to Tuur"| American Premiere of a Commissioned Symphony Explores Beauty of Life

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

"Tchaikovsky to Tuur"| American Premiere of a Commissioned Symphony Explores Beauty of Life

Article excerpt

Erkki-Sven Tuur lives on an island "at the end of the universe," according to Sarasota

Orchestra artistic director Anu Tali. The venerated Estonian composer works in his own

composing house. Outside the wide glass windows, sheep graze the fields. Inside, pages

and pages of sheet music coat the walls.

It was 2007, and Tali was visiting her "musical friend" at his estate. A recording played in the

background, and Tuur accompanied it on piano. Tali turned around the room with her eyes on the

music as she listened to the piece she had commissioned for the first time.

"It's never boring when you go to visit Erkki-Sven Tuur," Tali said. "I was totally in love with the whole thing. Today, he has written many more symphonies, and I've done many of his works but 'Strata' is still my piece. It will always be my piece."

Tuur's Symphony No. 6, "Strata," was composed for Tali and the Nordic Symphony Orchestra and has been performed several times in Europe. Soon, the piece will have its American premiere with the Sarasota Orchestra's new Masterworks performance, "Tchaikovsky to Tuur."

"Tuur is like a match in a haystack," Tali said. "Un-chaseable on piano, deep in musical experiences. This also explains why he is featured in Estonia's leading orchestras. I've told him about the Sarasota Orchestra, and I'm so much looking forward to sharing him with the orchestra

and audience here."

Tuur began his career in the late 1970s as the leader of an Estonian progressive rock band before shifting to classical composing that focuses on questions about human existence. "Strata" means "layers," and in it Tuur examines "mankind with all his desires, fears and hopes."

"In this case the impulse came from Anu, because she asked me to write some kind of long-lasting score, and it became a symphony," Tuur said.

The piece will be the second work in the program, sandwiched between Tchaikovsky's "Melodie" from "Souvenir d'un lieu cher" and his Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by renowned pianist Simon Trpceski.

"They couldn't be further from each other, intellectual Tuur and emotional Tchaikovsky," Tali said. "Maybe I like this A-B-A form. …

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