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Edgar Meyer has composed new music as part of Joshua Bell’s The Elements, a suite of five commissioned works for violin and orchestra by leading American composers.

Joshua Bell has commissioned a suite for violin and orchestra, The Elements, featuring music written by Edgar Meyer along with four other leading American composers: Jake Heggie (Fire), Jennifer Higdon (Air), Edgar Meyer (Water), Jessie Montgomery (Space), and Kevin Puts (Earth). Based on the five classical elements, the suite reflects on the need to preserve the beauty of our natural world.

Following workshop previews at the Colorado Music Festival conducted by Peter Oundjian (Aug 3 & 6), Bell premieres the suite on September 1-2 with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Alan Gilbert, followed by the Asian premiere with the Hong Kong Philharmonic (Sep 8-9) and the US premiere with the New York Philharmonic (Sep 29-Oct 1), led by Jaap van Zweden.

On composing “Water,” Meyer says:
“This movement deals with both a gentler side of water and a more forceful side. Music early in the movement is non-specific and maybe evocative of a gentle rain. The music later in the movement comes from a specific vision. I thought of being a particle of water in a high South American waterfall, hurled in seconds down into the swirling silt and sludge at the bottom, and onward from there. I’m not sure if it’s what I would see if I heard this music for the first time, but it certainly is what I saw when I wrote it.”

> Watch Meyer and the other composers discuss Elements

Edgar Meyer and Joshua Bell are longtime collaborators. Together, they premiered Meyer’s Double Concerto for Bass and Violin at Tanglewood in 2012 with Michael Stern and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, Meyer wrote his Overture for Violin and Orchestra for Bell, which he premiered with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

Later this season, Joshua Bell travels with The Elements to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by Juraj Valcuha (Jun 13-15), and to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, led by Marin Alsop (Jun 20-22), with further performances to be announced.

The Elements: Tour Dates
More dates to be announced.

September 1-2, 2023 (World Premiere)
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
Alan Gilbert, conductor

September 8-9, 2023 (Asian Premiere)
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

September 29-October 1, 2023 (US Premiere)
New York Philharmonic
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

June 13-15, 2024
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Juraj Valcuha, conductor

June 20-22, 2024
Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor

>  Further information on Work: Elements: Water

Photo: Jim McGuire and Phillip Kott

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