The Story Behind the Party Starter

by composer Jonathan Holland

IMG_0380Being asked to write one of the anniversary fanfares to celebrate Maestro Paavo Järvi’s tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony was both exciting and sad. I have been fortunate to have a long relationship with the Järvis, and have received many fantastic performances as a result. The performance of my work Halcyon Sun, which was commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony in celebration of the opening of the Freedom Center Underground Railroad Museum, was one of the best performances I have received of any of my music. The opportunity to write another work for the orchestra could not be passed up, though I realized the new work, while celebratory, also marked of the end of Maestro Järvi’s ten years as Music Director with the orchestra.

So, what better way to celebrate any event than with a party!? As a trumpet player and composer, concert openers and176 fanfares are very familiar territory. With this work however, I wanted to do more than simply herald the evening in with a fanfare. I wanted to start (continue?) the celebration with music fit for a party. And when I think of festive parties, music and dancing are always integral parts of the ceremony. In this spirit, and with the desire to connect with the music of my generation, I have written a work that draws on the type of music I would expect to hear at a party – music that is appropriately festive and that perhaps even inspires the listener to move.

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