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In April, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Rafael Payare premiere Melita by Ana Sokolovic, as part of her three-year residency with the orchestra.

Ana Sokolovic’s new orchestral work Melita, inspired by an island in Croatia, receives its world premiere with conductor Rafael Payare and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal on April 26-27. The piece is composed as part of Sokolovic’s three-year composer residency with the orchestra.

> April 26-27: Ana Sokolovic, Melita (World Premiere) with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Rafael Payare

The 22-minute work is inspired by Sokolovic’s trip to the Croatian island of Mljet (Melita is an old name for the island), where the natural environment and surroundings made a deep impression on the composer, inspiring her to write music that captured her experience. She describes the landscape in her program note:

“Perched in the middle of the island is a pristine national parc whose two salted lakes flow into the Adriatic Sea via a small strait with whose banks are spanned by a metal foot-bridge. This magical place immerses us in a dazzling state of heightened sensations of all kinds: the aroma of the pine trees, the sight of green and azure blue, the taste of the olives and wine, the touch of the wind, and the spectacular sound-worlds of its natural environment.”

The piece is written in four movements—Leaves, Crickets, Sea, and Bridge—that evoke specific scenes. The wind acts as an activator throughout the movements, stimulating the leaves, or blowing through the metal bridge to create harmonic whistling. Sokolovic’s synesthesia plays a significant role in the composition, as she associates different objects and colors with certain pitches: Yellow leaves evoke the note “D,” the blue sea movement is composed around the pitch G.

This is the first nature-inspired work by Sokolovic, a self-described “lifelong city dweller” who frequently explores machinery themes in her music. She explains, “This piece is different from any of my previous works. I went somewhere that I’ve never been before, in terms of my orchestration and how I organize time.”

Concert Information
Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 PM
Thursday, April 27 at 7:30 PM
Maison symphonique de Montréal
More info

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Aquiles Machado, tenor
Gustavo Castillo, baritone
OSM Chorus / Andrew Megill, chorusmaster

R. STRAUSS Don Quixote
ANA SOKOLOVIC Melita (World premiere)
ANTONIO ESTÉVEZ Cantata criolla

Pre-concert talk with Ana Sokolovic and Rafael Payare on April 26 and 27 at 6:30pm, hosted by Marianne Perron.

>  Further information on Work: Melita

Photo: Andre Parmentier

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