On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 8pm, composer Robert Sirota's Ecstatic Sunrise will receive its world premiere at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall by members of the Catholic University of America Symphony Orchestra, David Searle, conductor. The eclectic program also includes works by Handel, Mozart, Prokofiev and Vanhal, and is presented by the La Gesse Foundation.
About his new work, Robert Sirota writes: "Ecstatic Sunrise is inspired by a huge, vibrant 1916 mural by Edvard Munch entitled The Sun, which is the backdrop for the stage in the concert hall of the University Aula in Oslo, Norway. Some images are so fantastic and compelling that they are firmly emblazoned in your consciousness. Back in 1972 I gave a piano recital at the University Aula. Munch's The Sun literally upstages artists on the platform, and I remember having to avoid looking to my left as I was performing, so as not to be dazzled by its luminescence. Ecstatic Sunrise is an attempt to capture some of the manic joy of that image. I also envision it as the middle movement of projected work for string quartet/string orchestra that I am planning as a light-suffused companion to my dark and mournful 2002 string quartet Triptych."
The La Gesse Foundation, which is presenting this world premiere, was established by Princess Cecilia de Medici in 1981. The non-profit organization supports young artists and commissions new works from composers, presented on programs at Carnegie Hall as well as in Europe.
Upcoming performances of Sirota's music include the world premiere of a new work commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the installation of the historic Appleton Organ at The Metropolitan Museum, and the New York premiere of his chamber opera The Clever Mistress as part of The Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival at Symphony Space, both in April; as well as the world premiere of Iscariot, an opera in two acts, at Trinity Wall Street Church in May.
Robert Sirota's work has been performed throughout the United States and Europe, at venues including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music, Peabody, Oberlin Conservatory, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. His commissions include works for the Empire Brass, American Guild of Organists, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Fischer Duo, the Peabody Trio, the Webster Trio, and the Chiara String Quartet.