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Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra celebrates Unheard Voices in “Welcome Back to the United States of America” Feb. 4-5

In honor of Black History Month, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) pays homage to African-American composers with an energetic and insightful program for “Welcome Back to the United States of America” Feb. 4-5, 2022.

Canadian-American conductor Peter Oundjian explores the music of North America with the ISO, starting with William Grant Still’s Poem for Orchestra, which Still’s wife says was “inspired by the concept of a world being reborn spiritually after a period of darkness and desolation.” Florence Price—the first Black woman to have her music performed by a major U.S. orchestra—honors her African-American heritage with a movement of her String Quartet, arranged for orchestra by Oundjian. Barber’s unbroken Symphony No. 1 releases its titanic strength and energy, and the ISO commissions a new work by young African-American composer Joel Thompson, recently celebrated in the New York Times for his moving work “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed.” Through the ISO’s Unheard Voices initiative, generously supported by the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, the 2021–22 season celebrates contemporary and historical composers whose works are often underrepresented in orchestras today.

About Conductor Peter Oundjian

Peter Oundjian is renowned across the globe for his vibrant collaborative spirit and engaging musicality. He began his career as a solo violinist, and first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet, followed by an international conducting career leading orchestras in virtually every major musical center in the world. After a 14-year tenure as the Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and 6 years at the helm of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Oundjian was recently named Music Director of the Colorado Music Festival. Oundjian became a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music at the age of 25, and has mentored young violinists, conductors, and chamber groups at Yale for 38 years. In 2016, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Yale Philharmonia, leading the orchestra in engaging performances of works from across the orchestral canon. He also oversees the training of graduate-level orchestral conducting students.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 4 and 5:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 5. Per the ISO health and safety guidelines, proof of vaccination and face masks are mandatory. For more information regarding the policies of the Hilbert Circle Theatre, please visit the ISO website.

About the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at home and thriving in the heart of Indianapolis, offers an exceptional artistic and musical experience. The orchestra is open to all and dedicated to creating an inclusive and innovative experiential environment that is inspiring, educational, and welcoming. The ISO celebrates historically beloved performances while engaging audiences by introducing new voices through programming including the DeHaan Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series, the holiday traditions of AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration and the popular Bank of America Film Series. For more information, visit www.indianapolissymphony.org.