Music from Copland House



Tanglewood (297 West St., Lenox, MA 01240, Lenox MA)

Internationally acclaimed poet and writer and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Grammy-Award winning composer Richard Danielpour and Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Susan Graham join the Copland House ensemble to take a cose look through music into America’s past and present — and the centerpiece of the evening is A Standing Witness, a major collaboration between Dove and Danielpour, written for Graham and the ensemble — a song cycle that chronicles the country’s history from the 1960s to today.

Pierre Jalbert — Crossings
Aaron Copland — Sextet for clarinet, piano, and string quartet
Richard Danielpour and Rita Dove — A Standing Witness (BSO co-commission)

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Rita Dove served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993–1995 and, with Louise Glück and W.S. Merwin, as special Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress bicentennial in 1999/2000, and she served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004–2006.

In 1987 she received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book Thomas and Beulah. Her books of poetry include Playlist for the Apocalypse, Collected Poems 1974–2004, Sonata Mulattica, American Smooth, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, Mother Love, Grace Notes, Museum, The Yellow House on the Corner and Selected Poems; she has also published a book of short stories, Fifth Sunday, the novel Through the Ivory Gate, and a collection of her Poet Laureate lectures, The Poet’s World.

She has also edited the seminal anthologies Best American Poetry 2000 and The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011). Her verse drama The Darker Face of the Earth had its premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1996 and was staged at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Royal National Theatre in London, among other places.

Her song cycle Seven For Luck was set to music by John Williams and premiered by soprano Cynthia Haymon and the Boston Symphony under the composer’s baton at Tanglewood in 1998, and the following year she collaborated with John Williams and Steven Spielberg on “America’s Millennium” at the Lincoln Memorial. Her song cycle A Standing Witness, with music by Richard Danielpour, was first sung by mezzo-soprano Susan Graham at The Kennedy Center, among other venues, in 2021.

Composer Richard Danielpour has worked with celebrated artists from Yo-Yo M to Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, Anthony McGill, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the New York City, Pacific Northwest and Nashville Ballets, and institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Maryinsky and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more.

With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, he created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered in 2005 and had a second production with New York City Opera. He has received two awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, a Guggenheim Award, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, two Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, and The Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.

Richard Danielpour, Rita Dove and Michael Boriskin will give a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m. in hr Linde Center for Music and Learning, and concert tickets give admission to the talk as well.