Sunday, August 9, 2020

NJSO ensemble plays Walker’s Lyric for Strings


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screenshot of NJSO musicians playing Walker’s Lyric for Strings

As part of NJSO at Home, our musicians are working to produce virtual Couch Concerts, which connect music lovers with world-class music from the comfort of their homes. Many musicians selected pieces that hold special meaning to them, including NJSO Violinist Bryan Hernandez-Luch who chose George Walker’s “Molto adagio” from String Quartet No. 1. Trailblazing composer Walker (the first Black composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music) lived in Montclair, NJ, for most of his life. This movement from his String Quartet No. 1 has captivated countless audiences as his most performed work, Lyric for Strings.

Says Hernandez-Luch: “I became familiar with [the Walker piece] during my time as a member of the Catalyst Quartet, an ensemble comprised of past winners of the Sphinx Competition. It has always struck me as an impactful work, and I felt strongly that its performance was needed now more than ever."

Performed with NJSO violinist Fatima Aaziza, Assistant Principal Viola Elzbieta Weyman and NJSO Colton Fellow Cellist Laura Andrade, Hernandez-Luch led the process of producing the ensemble piece—creating two guide tracks for the ensemble, one conducting the piece and another with him playing the piece. 

To create such a wide range of NJSO at Home programming, our musicians and staff have gamely risen to the challenge of acquiring a new set of skills—and donations from our donors has allowed us this flexibility as these programs take shape. 

Your Symphony needs your support now, as we close our fiscal year on August 31. Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees Norman Slonaker has challenged our family of music lovers to contribute now. His challenge grant of $75,000 will match all gifts made in August for our wonderful orchestra and its educational programs.