Lois Robinson, Executive Director

(318) 222-7496 


Concert features Jennifer Higdon's 
Concerto for Low Brass and
Elgar's Enigma Variations
SHREVEPORT, LA, FEBRUARY 20, 2019 - On Saturday, March 16 , the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra low-brass section steps out to center stage for Jennifer Higdon's new concerto, written for the Chicago Symphony. Elgar's tribute to his friends and family, Enigma Variations, featuring the beautiful "Nimrod," closes the program.

Saturday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.
First Baptist Shreveport
Michael Butterman, conductor

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS F antasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
HIGDON Concerto for Low Brass
with Michael Davidson and Adam Johnson, trombones; J. Mark Thompson, bass trombone; Steven Curtis, tuba
ELGAR Enigma Variations

A free pre-concert discussion starts at 6:40 PM.  Tickets are available online at or by phone at 318-227-8863. Ticket prices range from $15-$55.     
The SSO's season sponsor is Willis-Knighton Health System. The concert sponsor is the Shreveport Hilton

About Jennifer Higdon

Jennifer Higdon is one of America's most acclaimed figures in contemporary classical music, receiving the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Violin Concerto, a 2010 Grammy for her Percussion Concerto and a 2018 Grammy for her Viola Concerto. Most recently, Higdon received the prestigious Nemmers Prize from Northwestern  University, which is awarded to contemporary classical composers of exceptional achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition. Higdon enjoys several  hundred performances a year of her works, and Blue Cathedral is one of today's most  performed contemporary orchestral works, with more than 600 performances worldwide.

Her works have been recorded on more than 60 CDs. Higdon's first opera, Cold Mountain, won the International Opera Award for Best World Premiere and the  opera recording was nominated for two Grammy awards. She holds the Rock Chair in Composition at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her music is published exclusively by Lawdon Press. 

Program note by the composer:
"Normally, when people think of brass they think of power, which is not an inaccurate assessment. But brass players are quick to tell you that they also can play beautiful melodies, and do so quietly and with exquisite control. So early on in the planning process for this concerto, I decided to think about the music as reflections of the qualities of majesty, grace, and power.

Writing this concerto was a tremendous challenge, primarily because there is normally one person standing at the front of the stage and this work requires four. Fortunately, I've had the opportunity on several occasions to write a concerto for multiple soloists. My first opportunity was with my bluegrass/classical hybrid concerto for Time for Three, "Concerto 4-3" and the second time was writing "On A Wire" for the four-time Grammy winners  Eighth Blackbird. 

When I accept a commission and start the process of deciding what kind of music to
write in a piece, I think a lot about the personalities of the players. I have, after  decades of writing music, learned that the low brass players are always fun to work with. They bring an infectious joy to everything they play, which in itself is inspiring. 

With all of this in mind, I decided to write a traditional work that highlights these qualities, in straightforward lines and melodies. It is sometimes the most challenging thing for a composer to do: compose a melody or chorale, with no special effects or colors, just focusing on the moving line. This is a work in one movement, with alternating slow and fast sections. There are solos for each player, as well as a few duets, and some chorales. This is a musical portrait of four extraordinary players, each working individually and as a group, bringing to the front of the stage, all of their majesty, grace, and power.

The Low Brass Concerto was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra serving as co-commissioners."

The Shreveport Symphony Orchestra is the first orchestra to perform this work after the commissioning orchestras.
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About the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra 
Since its founding in 1948, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has become Louisiana's oldest continually operating professional orchestra and one of the most respected regional orchestras in the United States. The SSO's mission is: To Embrace - to embrace the community we serve and to be embraced by the same community; to broaden the level of supporters and their involvement with the orchestra; to work across the region with various arts organizations through cooperation and partnerships. To Enlighten - to educate; to enlighten the senses beyond the norm. To Experience - to provide the unique aesthetic experiences of live orchestral music; to give depth and enriching life; to connect people through music; to foster cultural diversity. To Excel - to foster artistic, organizational, and financial excellence.