A More Convenient Season: World Premiere

This September, Hope Takes the Stage.  Will You Join Us?

 

A More Convenient Season
World Premiere

featuring the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, four of Birmingham's most talented young soloists, an all-female chorus composed of members of the region's most beloved community choirs including Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Choir, Tuskegee University Choir, Mississippi State University Choir, & many others; an original film from award-winning director David Peterson, and an electronic music component created by innovative artist Philip White

 

Commissioned by architect and philanthropist Tom Blount, produced by the Alys Stephens Center. Sponsored by Betty and John McMahon, Friends of Cornerstone School and UAB Medicine.

On September 21, the ASC presents the largest commissioning project in the Center’s history with the premiere of a new work by composer Yotam Haber, commissioned to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement events of 1963. 

The work, titled "A More Convenient Season," derives its name from the text of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail."

"… who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than
absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Like no performance we’ve experienced before, the work can best be described as “soaring.” Every word the chorus sings comes from FBI files and oral histories from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s archives. The accompanying film is created from home movies and news footage of the time. The music, performed by an orchestra and a live electronic artist, is stirring and emotional. Yet all of the work’s voices come together for a message of beauty and hope. The piece exemplifies the power of the arts to tell our stories, connect us, and give us hope for the future.

The chorus sings, “How far is far?” … “How high is high?”

Guggenheim fellow and accomplished composer Yotam Haber found inspiration for those words through repeated visits to Birmingham over the last two years. The culmination of Haber's listening to oral histories, learning from foot soldiers, speaking with historians, and browsing through files and artifacts in the Birmingham Public Library Archives has resulted in this immense work. Choirmaster David Harris comments, “I can’t underscore enough how powerful this music and this project is. I believe it’s one of the most important choral pieces for at least a decade, or more, and that we will hear more about it for years  to come.”

In 2014, the Alys Stephens Center will also premiere this work on the West Coast in a performance featuring the CalArts Orchestra at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre).


ArtPlay Composers Workshop: Monday, Sept. 16, 4pm, Jemison Concert Hall.

ArtPlay Meet the Artist School Show: Thursday, Sept. 19, 10am, Jemison Concert Hall.

 

Birmingham News article about A More Convenient Season

Performances

  • Saturday, September 21, 2013 · 8 PM
    A: $60.50 · B: $49.50 · C: $37.50 · tickets

Venue

  • Jemison Concert Hall

 

ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Yotam Haber was born in Holland and grew up in Israel, Nigeria, and Milwaukee - his music is informed by those places. He received the 2007-2008 Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize and a 2005 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Recent commissions include two works for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor; and new works for Gabriel Kahane, Alarm Will Sound; 2012 Bang on a Can Summer Festival; the Neuvocalsolisten Stuttgart and ensemble l’arsenale; JACK Quartet, Cantori New York, and the Berlin-based Quartet New Generation. He is currently collaborating with MacArthur Prize Fellow Anna Schuleit on a large-scale project of 104 piano pieces inspired by 104 paintings, drawn from stories by the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Haber is the artistic director of MATA, the non-profit organization founded by Philip Glass, that has, since 1996, been dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works by young composers from around the world. His music is published by RAI Trade.

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The Vagina Monologues at UAB
Tuesday 3/31
The Vagina Monologues at UAB 03/31/2015
$10.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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Celebrate womanhood with the annual presentation of the Vagina Monologues. Support the V-Day Foundation and Birmingham Crisis Center's Rape Response by attending this cultural event. Classic monologues detailing the plight of women facing adverse situations while celebrating female empowerment.

The Seven Last Words of Christ
Tuesday 3/31
The Seven Last Words of Christ 03/31/2015
$12.00, 24.50, 27.20, 32.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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The Seven Last Words of Christ
Tue, Mar 31, 2015 : 7:30 pm
Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall
Alys Stephens Center
HAYDN The Seven Last Words of Christ, for string quartet

Avenue Q
Wednesday 4/08
Avenue Q 04/08/2015
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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Winner of the Tony Awards' "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is a hilarious, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors! When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like Sesame Street where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else! In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of characters the help define his purpose in life. And...did we mention...PUPPETS?

Avenue Q
Thursday 4/09
Avenue Q 04/09/2015
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

Winner of the Tony Awards' "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is a hilarious, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors! When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like Sesame Street where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else! In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of characters the help define his purpose in life. And...did we mention...PUPPETS?

Avenue Q
Friday 4/10
Avenue Q 04/10/2015
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 2:00pm
Get Tickets

Winner of the Tony Awards' "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is a hilarious, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors! When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like Sesame Street where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else! In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of characters the help define his purpose in life. And...did we mention...PUPPETS?

Avenue Q
Friday 4/10
Avenue Q 04/10/2015
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

Winner of the Tony Awards' "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is a hilarious, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors! When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like Sesame Street where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else! In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of characters the help define his purpose in life. And...did we mention...PUPPETS?

Carmina Burana
Friday 4/10
Carmina Burana 04/10/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Carmina Burana
Fri & Sat, Apr 10 & 11, 2015 : 8 pm
Christopher Confessore, conductor
Caitlin Lynch, soprano
Daniel Shirley, tenor
Corey McKern, baritone
ASO Chorus
GUETTEL: Light in the Piazza Overture
RESPIGHI: Fountains of Rome
ORFF: Carmina Burana
From movie soundtracks and TV commercials to the concert hall, Carmina Burana is a monster hit. The rowdy chorus and sublime songs never fail to delight an audience.

Avenue Q
Saturday 4/11
Avenue Q 04/11/2015
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 7:30pm
Get Tickets

Winner of the Tony Awards' "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is a hilarious, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors! When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like Sesame Street where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else! In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of characters the help define his purpose in life. And...did we mention...PUPPETS?

Carmina Burana
Saturday 4/11
Carmina Burana 04/11/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Carmina Burana
Fri & Sat, Apr 10 & 11, 2015 : 8 pm
Christopher Confessore, conductor
Caitlin Lynch, soprano
Daniel Shirley, tenor
Corey McKern, baritone
ASO Chorus
GUETTEL: Light in the Piazza Overture
RESPIGHI: Fountains of Rome
ORFF: Carmina Burana
From movie soundtracks and TV commercials to the concert hall, Carmina Burana is a monster hit. The rowdy chorus and sublime songs never fail to delight an audience.

Avenue Q
Sunday 4/12
Avenue Q 04/12/2015
$12.00, 15.00
SHOW 2:00pm
Get Tickets

Winner of the Tony Awards' "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, Avenue Q is a hilarious, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by puppets alongside human actors! When Princeton, a young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like Sesame Street where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed he is no more special than anyone else! In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of characters the help define his purpose in life. And...did we mention...PUPPETS?

UAB Gospel Choir Spring Concert
Monday 4/13
UAB Gospel Choir Spring Concert 04/13/2015
$5.00, 7.00
SHOW 7:00pm
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Bryce Dessner
Friday 4/17
Bryce Dessner 04/17/2015
$24.00, 29.00, 34.00
SHOW 7:30pm
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Bryce Dessner (From The National)
Fri, Apr 17, 2015 : 7:30 pm
Bryce Dessner, known for his work with indie group The National, curates an evening with the ASO. The diverse program will feature two of Dessner’s own compositions, including St Carolyn by the Sea, a concerto for 2 guitars with Dessner as a soloist.

Roberta Flack
Saturday 4/18
Roberta Flack 04/18/2015
$, 0.00, 50.00, 60.00, 70.00, 85.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Roberta Flack
Sat, Apr 18, 2015 : 8 pm
BJCC Concert Hall
Internationally hailed as one of the greatest songstresses of our time, GRAMMY Award-winning Roberta Flack remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music with a full symphony!

California & Montreal Guitar Trios
Saturday 4/18
California & Montreal Guitar Trios 04/18/2015
$34.50
SHOW 8:00pm
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The ASC is known for bringing unique artists to Birmingham, and this performance is no exception. » The evening will feature six virtuoso guitarists from California Guitar Trio (CGT) and Montreal Guitar Trio (MG3) performing arrangements of classical works and innovative takes on rock standards. Can you imagine surf music next to psychedelic, classical music next to Spaghetti Western themes, and Pink Floyd next to Bach? This performance is sure to be a delightful experience for any music enthusiast. » Collectively, they represent four countries and fuse over 40 years of combined performing experience into one unique six-by-six-string “phenomensemble.” » In a pleasantly surprising way, CGT’s steel stringed-guitars blend naturally with MG3'’s nylon-stringed guitars, as each trio’s fret boards chase the other’s original compositions and new arrangements of progressive rock, jazz, and classical music.

Diana Krall
Monday 4/20
Diana Krall 04/20/2015
$71.50, 85.50, 99.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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We are honored to have Diana Krall return to the ASC to showcase her latest album, Wallflower – a tremendously refreshing and collaborative effort that reflects Krall in a gorgeous new light. » This five-time Grammy-winning jazz pianist and vocalist is one of the most accomplished and distinctive musicians in the world today. Respected far and wide as a wildly successful recording and performing artist, Krall remains a true musical force. At any given moment she could be producing Barbra Streisand’s new album, serving as musical director/arranger for Paul McCartney, or hitting the road for a good cause with Neil Young. » Krall has sold more albums than any other female jazz artist of the last 30 years, establishing herself as one of the most beloved performers of her generation, one whose recordings thus far have earned her nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums.

A DANCEe Wild Rumpus
Sunday 4/26
A DANCEe Wild Rumpus 04/26/2015
$9.00, 9.20, 9.65, 11.00, 20.00
SHOW 2:00pm
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Creativity? Check! Curiosity? Check! Then the time has come for the Wild Rumpus to start, and ArtPlay knows just whom to call to help it commence! » Known for her innovative choreography that fuses a multitude of different dance disciplines, Elizabeth Ross with DanceE, Birmingham’s Contemporary Dance Company, brings her exciting original work to the Alys Stephens Center stage. »
An additional sensory friendly performance of this show is planned from 7-8 p.m. Friday, April 24, at the ASC. Presented by ArtPlay and KultureCity, the sensory friendly performance will feature a friendly, supportive environment for an audience of families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues.
Please visit to learn more: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-wild-rumpus-tickets-16390075156

The Music of John Williams from the Movies of Steven Spielberg
Saturday 5/02
The Music of John Williams from the Movies of Steven Spielberg 05/02/2015
$14.00, 27.00, 39.50, 57.00, 70.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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The Music of John Williams from the movies of Steven Spielberg
Sat, May 2, 2015 : 8 pm
Christopher Confessore, conductor
The ASO Chorus
Samford University’s Wright Center
Experience the magic of music and cinema created by two great maestros of the movies, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, with film scores conducted by the ASO’s own maestro, Christopher Confessore, and featuring the ASO Chorus.

Steve Winwood
Saturday 5/02
Steve Winwood 05/02/2015
$81.50, 95.50, 109.50
SHOW 8:00pm
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For more than four decades, Steve Winwood has remained a primary figure in rock ‘n’ roll, a respected innovator who has helped to create some of the genre’s most celebrated achievements. Winwood burst into prominence in 1963 with the Spencer Davis Group and since that time his celebrated skills as a composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist have developed an impressive catalog of popular music. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, Winwood found success, including co-founding the popular British-group Traffic and creative partnerships with Cream guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. » 1977’s solo debut Steve Winwood signaled a bold new artistic direction, with landmark solo albums including the Grammy Award winning Back In The High Life and Roll With It. Winwood’s solo career has yielded a rich catalog of popular songs including “Back In The High Life,” “When You See A Chance,” “Valerie,” and “Higher Love”.

Julia Bullock
Thursday 5/07
Julia Bullock 05/07/2015
$, 20.00, 30.40, 33.18, 37.50
SHOW 7:00pm
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Winner of the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition and the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, soprano Julia Bullock has been hailed by The New York Times as an “impressive, fast-rising soprano … poised for a significant career.” » Bullock has performed the title roles in the Juilliard Opera productions of Massenet’s Cendrillon and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, to rave reviews. » This season, she reprises the title role in Henry Purcell’s The Indian Queen, directed by Peter Sellars at the Perm Opera House, and at English National Opera. » In 2013, she made her San Francisco Symphony debut in West Side Story, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; an album of the concert is available on the orchestra’s label. » She is pursuing her Artist Diploma with Edith Bers at The Juilliard School.

Brahms Symphony No. 1
Friday 5/08
Brahms Symphony No. 1 05/08/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Brahms Symphony No. 1
Andreas Delfs, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano

Fri & Sat, May 8 & 9, 2015 : 8 p.m.

BRAHMS: Tragic Overture, op. 81
BARTOK: Piano Concerto No. 3
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68
Continuing the tradition of crowd-pleasing piano concertos, Bartók's remarkable piece features driving rhythms and hammered chords softened by folksy charm and wit.

Saturday 5/09
ASYO Spring Concert 05/09/2015
$7.00, 10.00, 15.00
SHOW 2:00pm
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Brahms Symphony No. 1
Saturday 5/09
Brahms Symphony No. 1 05/09/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Brahms Symphony No. 1
Andreas Delfs, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano

Fri & Sat, May 8 & 9, 2015 : 8 p.m.

BRAHMS: Tragic Overture, op. 81
BARTOK: Piano Concerto No. 3
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68
Continuing the tradition of crowd-pleasing piano concertos, Bartók's remarkable piece features driving rhythms and hammered chords softened by folksy charm and wit.

Dr. John
Saturday 5/16
Dr. John 05/16/2015
$45.50, 54.50, 63.50
SHOW 8:00pm
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Join us for MARDI GRAS in MAY as we present a true icon of American culture, the incomparable Dr. John. This performance will feature a career retrospective including his biggest hits as well as music from his most recent release, The Spirit of the Satch, Dr. John’s tribute to the late Louis Armstrong. » Dr. John’s musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex, and Frankie Ford. A legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album Gris-Gris, introducing to the world his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock, and Creole roots.

Coffee Concert: Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Friday 5/29
Coffee Concert: Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 05/29/2015
$19.00, 27.00, 33.00
SHOW 11:00am
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Rachmaninoff
Symphony No. 2
Fri, May 29, 2015 | 11 a.m.
Michael Morgan, conductor
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2

Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Friday 5/29
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 05/29/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Fri & Sat, May 29 & 30, 2015 : 8 pm
Michael Morgan, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2
Few symphonies are as lush, stormy, and defiantly emotional as Rachmaninoff’s Second, with its hypnotic, long-limbed themes and minor key harmonies.

Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Saturday 5/30
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 05/30/2015
$24.00, 34.00, 49.00, 69.00
SHOW 8:00pm
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Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Fri & Sat, May 29 & 30, 2015 : 8 pm
Michael Morgan, conductor
Conrad Tao, piano
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2
Few symphonies are as lush, stormy, and defiantly emotional as Rachmaninoff’s Second, with its hypnotic, long-limbed themes and minor key harmonies.