On September 17, VC Young Artists LGT Young Soloists will give the world premiere of a new symphony by American minimalist composer Philip Glass at the Royal College of Music.
Glass' piece, Symphony No. 14 "Liechtenstein," is scored for string orchestra and evokes the beauty of the country of Liechtenstein's natural landscape.
Artistic Director of LGT Young Soloists Alexander Gilman said he asked Glass for a "youthful, virtuoso work tailored to our ensemble" where every instrument group had a solo part, as is characteristic of the ensemble's programming style.
Liechtenstein has a long history of influencing musical works that have become integral parts of the Western art music canon, as royal figures from the country have been major patrons of both Haydn and Mozart.
The Glass commission marks the centennial of LGT, a private bank owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein which sponsors LGT Young Soloists. The new work will also be released later this year as a recording on Glass' label Orange Mountain Music.
Additionally, the concert will feature a new commission from Russian-Canadian composer Airat Ichmouratov — Concerto Grosso "Liechtenstein" — which is also inspired by Liechtenstein. Gilman described the work as "a fiery, highly virtuosic work with a distinct film-like element" and possibly "one of the most difficult works ever written for a string ensemble."
The LGT Young Soloists range from ages 14-23 and are from 15 countries. Its members work together as a string orchestra and tour internationally at the world's most famed performance venues.
The ensemble will also present the program in upcoming concerts this fall at the Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, and Hamburg Elbphilharmonic.
Find more information on the ensemble's website, LGTYoungSoloists.com.