Music News & Reviews

Composer shifts into overdrive for Chamber Fest

Composer-in-residence Adam Schoenberg right, talked about his work Canto with the Lexington Philharmonic in April as Scott Terrell listened.
Composer-in-residence Adam Schoenberg right, talked about his work Canto with the Lexington Philharmonic in April as Scott Terrell listened. Lexington Herald-Leader

Last year was supposed to be Adam Schoenberg's year as the composer-in-residence at the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington.

But the visit was postponed by the arrival of a bundle of joy: Luca, Schoenberg's first child.

And Luca was very much on Schoenberg's mind when he first visited Lexington last September and was composing Canto for the Lexington Philharmonic. Schoenberg is the third composer in the Philharmonic and Chamber Fest's joint Saykaly Garbulinska composer-in-residence program.

Canto, which the Philharmonic premiered in April, was inspired by Luca, whose name means "bringer of light."

Friday night promises something completely different with the world premiere of Schoenberg's work for the Chamber Festival, Go, which is inspired by his visits to Lexington.

While here Schoenberg was treated to proper Southern hospitality including horse farm tours and a trip to Keeneland, which seems to be where he picked up the tempo for his chamber work.

"It opens with each member of the group playing a different glissando to create the sound of an engine revving, to evoke the start of a race," Schoenberg says.

The musicians will lock into different grooves for the one-movement piece, he says, and there is a "sprint to the finish," where the sheet music literally includes the direction, "floor it," he says.

"It's fun. Upbeat and fun."

Schoenberg is a busy composer with a variety of works to his credit and in the offing. Canto, he says, already has another performance scheduled in Florida this coming season. And it sounds like Go could gain traction in towns like Daytona and other communities with a need for speed.

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