UK Symphony continues its premieres of Thomas Pasatieri's works

rcopley@herald-leader.comMarch 27, 2014 

The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra renews a musical partnership at Friday's concert, when it presents the world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri's Symphony No. 2.

It will be the fourth collaboration for the orchestra and composer.

Pasatieri and the orchestra first collaborated on the UK Opera Theatre's production of his comic opera Hotel Casablanca. That led to a second teaming with Pasatieri's Christmas opera God Bless Us Everyone, which premiered in New York in 2010.

The next year, the UK Symphony premiered Pasatieri's Symphony No. 1 and recorded it.

"The second symphony was written for this orchestra and John and Casey, Mrs. Nardolillo," Pasatieri says. "I have loved all of my collaborations with them, and they sound fantastic. John is my favorite interpreter of my music."

For all involved, the second symphony, which is focused on the cycle of life, is a particularly meaningful experience. The final movement features a children's choir and Catherine Clarke Nardolillo, who is nine months pregnant.

"What could be more appropriate?!" Pasatieri says. "You have this theme of life being sung by a mother who is about to give birth."

(Pasatieri says that should Nardolillo go into labor, another soprano is set to step in.)

Leading up to the concert, the UK Symphony recorded Pasatieri's second and third symphonies, the latter of which will not be played here because its world premiere is scheduled for Seattle later this spring under the baton of John Nardolillo's brother-in-law Christophe Chagnard, conductor of the Northwest Sinfonetta.

The recording of the three symphonies will be released later this year, most likely by Albany Records.

This will not be the last of the UK-Pasatieri collaboration either, he says. His 70th birthday is coming up next year, and he wants to compose something special for the occasion and involve his favorite collaborators, including the UK Opera.

"I never get too far from the voice," he says.

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