Curated by violinist Johnny Gandelsman, “This is America” is a new commissioning and recording project featuring over 20 works for solo violin written by American and US-based composers.
The invited composers – including icons like Rhiannon Giddens and Conrad Tao – were asked to reflect on the events of the past year and to consider the impact the period has had on their lives and on their communities.
A long-time FirstWorks collaborator, Johnny Gandelsman is a co-founder of Brooklyn Rider and a member of the Silk Road Ensemble. The New Yorker has called him “revelatory” in concert, placing him in the company of “radically transformative” performers like Maurizio Pollini, Peter Serkin and Christian Zacharias.
For this special FirstWorks program, Gandelsman will perform selections from “This is America,” and Providence’s Community MusicWorks will join him for a performance of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto.”
The concert will open with the premiere of “Woodland Impressions,” a program developed with EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks through FirstWorks’ inaugural commission initiative. Experience the new suite for erhu (two-stringed Chinese fiddle), violin and marimba composed by erhu virtuoso Jing Wang, performing with violinist EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and percussionist Piero Guimaraes. “Woodland Impressions” is inspired by FirstWorks themes of Raise Your Voice (celebrating diversity) and Earth First (addressing environmental justice).