Posted on Monday, November 21, 2022
An orchestral piece composed by Westminster College Professor of Music Dr. Daniel Perttu was recently performed and recorded by the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra.
The five-minute “Phoenix,” inspired by the legend of the ancient mythical bird, was recorded under the direction of Croatian conductor Miran Vaupoti? and released on the Grammy-winning Navona Records label on Oct. 28.
“This piece is inspired by the legend of the Phoenix,” said Perttu. “As the bird reaches the end of one of its l,000-year life cycles, it flies from Paradise back to our ‘fallen’ world where it lives until it is time to be reborn.”
“The first part of this piece depicts a fallen world. When it is time for the bird to be reborn, it sings a most beautiful farewell song that causes even the Sun to pause and listen as it rises,” said Perttu. “After the Phoenix’s song has finished, the Sun starts again across the sky, emitting a spark, depicted in the music, that ignites the Phoenix in flames. After burning, a new Phoenix rises from the ashes and returns to Paradise.”
“Phoenix” will be performed live during the 2022-2023 season by the Wheeling (W.Va.) Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Gennaro Devlin, and the Butler (Ohio) Philharmonic, conducted by Scott Woodard. It premiered in 2021 by the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra in Florida with Aaron Collins conducting.
Perttu, whose scholarly and creative activity focuses on music composition, joined the Westminster faculty in 2008. He earned an undergraduate degree from Williams College, two master’s degrees from Kent State University and a doctoral degree from The Ohio State University.
Founded in 1904, the London Symphony Orchestra was named by Gramophone magazine as one of the top five orchestras in the world and is seen as the leading orchestra in London. It performs over 120 concerts per year with leading international artists. It is the world’s most recorded orchestra, having made recordings since 1912 and having been played on more than 200 soundtrack recordings.
To learn more about Westminster College’s music program, visit www.westminster.edu/music.