The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia continues its season-long trip around the world with a stop in the Western Hemisphere that includes two major links to its home city. The soloist, Jordan Dodson, is an Astral Spotlight Artist—an up-and-coming young guitarist whose career received a big boost when he became one of the winners in the 2013 auditions conducted by Philadelphia’s Astral Artists. The finale will be the world premiere of a new concerto for electric guitar and chamber orchestra by a Philadelphia composer with an impressive track record: Andrea Clearfield.
Astral Artists is a nationally recognized organization that provides career guidance and performance opportunities for carefully selected young artists. Merely surviving its audition process is a career boost in itself. Andrea Clearfield has premiered a number of first-class works in the last few years. The violin concerto she premiered with Orchestra 2001 gave me a lasting musical memory. I tend to shudder when I see an electronically amplified instrument listed on a program, but a composer with her skill and musical vision can overcome any bias.
The other items on the program include a guitar concerto by Brazil’s Heitor Villa-Lobos and an opera suite by Spain’s Manuel de Falla (who moved to Argentina after Francisco Franco took control of Spain). This is the fourth concert in the Chamber Orchestra’s “Migration” series. So far they’ve all been winners. The February concert with mandolin star Caterina Lichtenberg was, in fact, one of the most enjoyable concerts the Chamber Orchestra has presented.
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will present Migrations: The Americas on Sunday, March 31, at 2:30pm and Monday, April 1, at 7:30pm at the Perelman Theater at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (300 South Broad Street). Tickets range from $39.10 to $78.50 and are available online and at the door.