Memphis music organizations come together for Music on the Square Event featuring “Caged” world premiere

Iris Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music come together for this afternoon chamber concert “celebrating the collaborative nature of music and the power of collective purpose.” The event will take place at Overton Square in the Chimes Amphiteatre Sunday, April 11 at 3 PM. While the event is free, reservations are required. Click here to make a reservation.

The program will consist of works by Tschaikovsky, Caroline Shaw, Astor Piazzolla, Adolphus Hailstork, and the live World Premiere of “Caged” by Brian Nabors.

Nabor’s piece is a string quintet inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. Iris Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra commissioned the piece for a chamber ensemble made up of the MSO and Iris Fellows. The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music assisted in the collaboration by providing regular coaching for the ensemble as a part of the Chamber Strings Class.

“Caged was written for the wonderful fellows of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Iris Orchestra as a collaborative effort to further a commitment of providing the gift of music to the community while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Caged in an energetic, rhapsodic journey geared toward carrying the listener through a range of emotions. As with much of my work, I sought to pair the barbarous with the deeply introspective, throwing in a couple of grooves along the way. I feel it as a work to “let loose” so to speak and release much of the restrictive tension quarantine and the pandemic as a whole has brought upon us. It is written in an ABA’ form with the last section mirroring the first in terms of emotional drive. The middle section serves as the heart of the work and is an inward reconciling of the grief many of us feel from this difficult time,” described Nabors.

While the concert will be the live World Premiere of “Caged,” it will be virtually premiered on April 4th. The virtual premiere is hosted by the National Civil Rights Museum, where the video was recorded and will be featured as a part of their official tribute in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

“Although we feel caged at the moment, what a gift it is to have something so powerful as music continue to lift our spirits and eve ntually pull us through to the other side,” said Nabors.

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