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Press Releases

Chamber Music World Premiere Focuses on Philando Castile Killing

June 22, 2021 | By Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae’Anna


Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), composer

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, librettist
Terrence Chin-Loy, tenor
Brandie Sutton, soprano

Melvin Chen, piano
Abeo Quartet, Fellows of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Premiering at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival on July 9, 2021

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival has commissioned Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) for the inaugural composition of the Festival’s new multi-year Musical Bridges project, in which the Festival will commission new works that place classical chamber music within a broader musical and cultural context. DBR’s work is Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae’Anna, a piece for two singers and piano quintet, inspired by the killing of Philando Castile in St. Paul, MN.

 

Festival Director Melvin Chen is committed to the idea that, as he says, “Chamber music is not something fixed but something evolving and growing, and we need to participate in that,” in explaining why he wanted to launch this new program. 

 

The Festival’s goal in launching Musical Bridges is to promote artistic collaborations that challenge traditional perspectives of classical chamber music and address the role of arts in society. The hope is that this medium can help bring together diverse communities and individuals, and create opportunities for discussion, exploration and better understanding of shared values.

 

DBR is an acclaimed composer, violinist, educator, and activist whose work combines his traditional training with his own cultural references and musical imagination. “As a Black, Haitian-American composer, I am wanting to create a work in process and partnership with the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, listening and responding to the urgent needs of our communities. Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae’Anna is a work for piano, string quartet, and two singers, that will seek to musically respond to the confrontations and conversations that have happened, and are, happening between Black men, people of color, law enforcement, and an undefined civic morality.”

 

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival – Yale Summer School of Music was founded under Yale in 1941 and is one of the pre-eminent summer chamber music programs with over forty concerts performed by Festival Artists and young professionals in the Music Shed in Norfolk, CT.

 

The world premiere will be live-streamed Friday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m. on the Festival’s website, norfolkmusic.org. Viewers can access it then or afterwards through the Festival’s website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. The YouTube channel also includes conversations with Festival Director Melvin Chen and DBR about the piece, as well as additional videos, including a rehearsal led by the composer to be posted the week of the premiere.

 

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