Rachel Roberts is currently appearing at the Classix-Kempten Festival in Munich. She is particularly looking forward to performing Soul Garden for solo viola and string quintet, by Derek Bermel, the festival’s composer-in-residence.
Grammy-nominated composer and clarinettist Derek Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity; his ongoing engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language. He is Artistic Director of the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and also Director of Copland House’s emerging composers institute Cultivate.
Soul Garden is written for solo viola and string quintet, and has been described by the New York Times as follows:
“Like many of [Derek Bermel’s] pieces, this essay for solo viola and a string quintet (a quartet with an extra cello, in this configuration) draws freely from several musical worlds. The music’s surfaces are painted in the coloration of blues and gospel. The work’s underpinnings, though, use rhythmic and harmonic techniques more germane to contemporary concert music, and the tensions between those languages give the music its poignancy.”
Rachel performs Soul Garden as part of the concert on Friday, 23rd September at 8pm, at the Kempten Theatre in Munich. The concerts are being recorded by Deutsche Rundfunk and Bayerische Rundfunk for future broadcast.