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Press Releases

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) Presents Boston Accent: A Two-Night Concert Series Celebrating the Music of Massachusetts-Based Composers

March 19, 2017 | By AMT PR |
Concert #1:

Friday, March 31st @ 8:00 p.m. (Pre-concert talk at 7:00 p.m.)

NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, T: Green to Symphony Tickets: General $20-$50/Students $10. To purchase, contact BMOP at or by telephone 718.324.0396. Also available from the Jordan Hall box office in person or online at

Concert #2: Sunday, April 2nd @ 3:00 p.m., Buckley Recital Hall at Amherst College,

Tickets: General $18/Students $10. To purchase, contact Amherst College or by telephone 413.542.2195.

Boston, MA (For Release 03.07.17) — In collaboration with Amherst College’s Parallel Series, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) presents Boston Accent, a pair of spring concerts celebrating world-class composers of contemporary music from the Boston music scene. Joined by one of America’s finest young chamber ensembles, the Claremont Trio, BMOP showcases works by John Harbison, Eric Sawyer, and Ronald Perera, as well as the world premiere of Black Noise by David Sanford.

“BMOP’s mission has always been to bring classical music audiences closer to the music of our own time by performing new and important works by local contemporary composers,” explains Gil Rose, Artistic Director and Conductor of BMOP. “These four composers are contributing to the legacy of classical music and adding to the fabric of Boston’s musical landscape. We are thrilled to be celebrating and supporting them!”

Leading the program is the world premiere of David Sanford’s Black Noise, commissioned by BMOP and made possible by the Fromm Music Foundation. “In spite of the title, which is taken from Tricia Rose’s groundbreaking book on rap and black culture, there are no overt hip-hop references in the piece,” says Sanford. “The music seeks to blur the distinction between ‘foreground’ and ‘background’, and the materials that constitute them.” Sanford draws from a wide range of influences: jazz masters like John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie, rhythm and blues/funk groups such as the Isley Brothers, orchestral music, and popular music. Sanford (b.1963) who earned a master's degree in theory and composition from the New England Conservatory, has been teaching at Mount Holyoke College since 1998. He lives in Northampton.

“John Harbison’s music is ubiquitous here” says The Boston Globe. This is in part due to BMOP, who has been discovering and introducing Harbison’s music to audiences worldwide since 2003, when they premiered his ballet Ulysses. Since then, BMOP has released three recordings of Harbison’s work, including Full Moon in March and Winter’s Tale on the BMOP/sound label. The relationship continues with the performance of Harbison’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (2010) featuring the Claremont Trio. According to The Boston Globe, this piece is “a polished and attractive addition to [Harbison's] catalog…[it] offers opportunities for virtuoso display, in the rhapsodic outbursts of the opening movement and the catchy upbeat riffs of the finale, with enough interest to hold the ear.” Harbison (b.1938) lives in Cambridge where he is an Institute Professor at MIT, player/coach/arranger/founder of MIT’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and pianist with the faculty jazz group Strength in Numbers (SIN). Since 2005, he has frequently directed Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music, and has been Principal Guest Conductor of Boston’s Emmanuel Music for 45 years.

Also featuring the Claremont Trio is Fantasy Concerto: Concord Conversations (2013) for piano trio and orchestra by Eric Sawyer. Known for having an affinity for projects involving American history, Sawyer drew his inspiration for Fantasy Concerto from the American Transcendentalists. In 2008, BMOP/sound released Sawyer’s Our American Cousin, an opera centered on Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Sawyer (b.1962) received his undergraduate musical training at Harvard University. He has taught at the Longy School of Music, Wellesley College, and MIT. He currently lives in Amherst where he teaches at Amherst College.

The fourth and final work of the evening is the Massachusetts premiere of The Saints (1980) by Ronald Perera. The Saints is based on When the Saints Go Marching In, a Dixieland classic historically played at funerals in New Orleans — slowly on the way to the cemetery and quickly coming back. Each of the three movements in The Saints is designed to explore and illustrate a musical idea. The opening movement, Choirs, shows off instrumental families within the orchestra. The second, Joyful Noise, incorporates extended instrumental techniques and special effects. The third, Marching In, evokes the slow march to the cemetery and the jazzed-up procession home. Perera (b.1941) studied composition with Leon Kirchner at Harvard University. He has taught at Smith College and currently lives in Northampton.

About BMOP

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) is the premier orchestra in the United States dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A unique institution of crucial artistic importance to today’s musical world, BMOP exists to disseminate exceptional orchestral music of the present and recent past via performances and recordings of the highest caliber. Founded by Artistic Director Gil Rose in 1996, BMOP has championed composers whose careers span nine decades.

Each season, Rose brings BMOP’s award-winning orchestra, renowned soloists, and influential composers to the stage of New England Conservatory’s historic Jordan Hall in a series that offers orchestral programming of unmatched diversity. The musicians of BMOP are consistently lauded for the energy, imagination, and passion with which they infuse the music of the present era. For more information, please visit

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