In it’s 14th season, NEC’s Festival Youth Orchestra will premiere a very special composition. “Boston Strong,” composed by NEC prep alum, Jeremiah Klarman, will be featured on Friday night’s concert in Jordan Hall. It’s truly an honor to have someone from our NEC community compose a piece like this and also have our Festival Youth Orchestra perform it! Words from Jeremiah…
“When I was asked to compose a piece in memory of the tragic events that occurred during the Boston Marathon, I faced a mix of emotions. On one hand, I was honored to have the opportunity of creating a musical response to this terrible tragedy. At the same time, I felt an uncertainty and responsibility; how would I be able to adequately voice what I and so many other people were feeling?
After some contemplation, I decided to write directly from my own inner experience. I adopted the phrase that many are using as an unofficial city slogan, Boston Strong, as the title of my piece. I also included a musical cryptogram for the main theme that spells out Boston Strong in musical notation, as well as a middle theme that spells out these words backwards.
The piece opens with anticipation as the Marathon day dawns and the race begins. As the runners approach the finish line, the bombs explode and the second theme is introduced as a mournful lament. This theme is transformed into a menacing melody, as the police chase begins. The growing terror culminates in the dramatic shootout and capture of the remaining suspect. The main Boston Strong theme then returns as the crowd celebrates their city’s courage and support for each other and the piece is elevated to its rousing conclusion.
It has been a sincere honor and privilege to offer this gift to the city of Boston, which I am so fortunate to call my home, and to share this gratitude with the wonderful young musicians you will hear tonight. I hope this music will serve as a reminder of our immense strength and courage that sometimes only the darkest events can bring to light.”
As Leonard Bernstein has said,
“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
Jeremiah Klarman’s Boston Strong, an orchestral work he wrote to commemorate the Boston Marathon bombings and the resilience, courage, and compassion displayed by Bostonians in the aftermath of the tragedy. Besides Boston Strong, the concert program features Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, Sibelius’ tone poem Finlandia, symphonic excerpts from Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica.”