Glass: Symphony No.12. Photo credit: Filharmonie Brno.

Brno, Nov 18 (BD) – On 15 November, the International Classical Music Awards, one of the most prestigious international competitions, announced the nominations for the best recordings of 2023, including the January release of Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 12, “Lodger,” which was recorded with Filharmonie Brno. The orchestra performed the piece at its Czech premiere last year, and will perform it for the first time in front of a New York audience next year at Carnegie Hall, as part of a major US tour, with the personal participation of Philip Glass.

Under the direction of Principal Conductor Dennis Russell Davies, the recording is dominated by multiple Grammy-winning singer Angélique Kidjo from Benin, and features one of today’s most acclaimed organists, Christian Schmitt. “I’m really excited about this, I remember once discussing with Philip the idea of composing a symphony. He had successful operas, a couple of orchestral works, and I was keen to get his music into concert halls and play it with a symphony orchestra,” said Davies, who has a long-standing friendship with Glass.

Glass and Davies reworking the symphony in the summer of 2021. Photo credit: Filharmonie Brno.

He also used it in the recording of his Twelfth Symphony, which had its world premiere in 2019. Thanks to Davies, the score underwent many revisions and minor changes to the text. Dennis Russell Davies has worked extensively with Kidjo, including on the European premiere. 

“Angélique and Dennis really got the piece into shape during the many performances together as it went through numerous revisions on the way to its final form. I am grateful for their continued dedication in this way. Christian has brought his well-known experience to a prominent organ part, and Filharmonie Brno under Dennis’ direction sounds great,” Glass said.

Glass’s Symphony No. 12 was given its Czech premiere by Filharmonie Brno with Kidjo and Schmitt at the Prague Spring Festival, and repeated at the opening of the Moravian Autumn Festival. “Next January we will take it to Leipzig and then mainly to Carnegie Hall. We will start our big American tour with it on 8 February at its New York premiere, in the personal presence of the composer,” said Marie Kučerová, director of Filharmonie Brno.

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