Key Chorale Announces 2024 U.S. Premiere With Iranian Composer
Arts & Culture
THURSDAY 9 JUNE 2022 |
Key Chorale will present the U.S. premiere of “The Legend of Bijan and Manijeh” by Iranian composer Farhad Poupel for piano, choir and orchestra with pianist Jeffrey Biegel in February 2024. This evocative work is based on an ancient Persian love story from the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), an epic poem by Persian poet Ferdowsi written between 977 and 1010 CE. The friendship between artistic director Joseph Caulkins and pianist Jeffrey Biegel led to this opportunity for Key Chorale. They have done many projects together, including a memorable performance of Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” in 2018 with the Chorale. Farhad Poupel first approached Jeffery Biegel about his solo piano music, and conversations led Biegel to ask if Poupel would compose a new work for piano, orchestra, and choir based on a Persian theme. Accordingly, “The Legend of Bijan and Manijeh” will have its world premiere in November 2022 with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Robert Franz, and the US premiere in February 2024 with the Key Chorale. and Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Caulkins. The story of “Bijan and Manijeh” is about two lovers from rival countries. As is often the case with many Shahnameh stories, it helps us see humanity beyond nationality, religion, gender, family ties or political wars.