A world premiere composition caps a Nordic-themed finale concert for the String Orchestra of the Rockies this Sunday.
The Missoula-based string ensemble will join with the singers of Dolce Canto to present a piece written by Ola Gjeilo, who is serving as composer in residence at the University of Montana this week. Gjeilo wrote “Dreamsong” especially for Dolce Canto’s a cappella performers.
“He’s a young fellow who at this point in his career is making a living full-time as a composer,” said SOR musical director Fern Glass Boyd. “There are very few people in the world who can do that successfully.
We’re going to have a lot of exciting creative energy on stage with us.”
Gjeilo was born in Norway and moved to the United States in 2001. In 2006 he completed his master’s degree in composition at Juilliard. He has developed works for choir, orchestras, symphonic wind ensembles and the piano while keeping a passion for improvisation. Some of his choral compositions were included on the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale’s Northern Lights album which was named an iTunes “Best Classical Vocal Album of the Year” in 2012 and is still the top selling title for Chandos Records in the United States.
His frequent lyricist, Tony Silvestri, will also be on hand to work with the musicians for Sunday’s concert.
Dolce Canto comes to the stage fresh from a recent trip to Carnegie Hall, where it was invited to participate the Distinguished Concerts International New York City organization’s production of “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass.” They recreated the work in Missoula in February with help from the bluegrass instrumental group Monroe Crossing and the Montana State University Chorale.
The rest of the program features challenging works from Edvard Grieg and Dag Wiren, as well as Mozart’s “Ave Verum,” which will bring both instrumentalists and singers together. It will close with another piece by Gjeilo’s: “Luminous Night of the Soul.”
“There’s a strong Scandinavian theme,” Glass Boyd said. “We’re spanning three centuries, with a lot of variety from the past to the extremely current. We’ll be part of history Sunday night.”
The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the University of Montana Music Recital Hall.
Tickets for Sunday’s performance cost $20 for general admission and $10 for students. They are available from griztix.com, Worden’s Deli, the MSO Hub, the Source, Southgate Mall and the Adams Center Box Office, or by phone, 243-4051. For more information about the String Orchestra of the Rockies, check sormt.org or call 493-2990.