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SOLI Chamber Ensemble to debut new piece by San Antonio native Darian Donovan Thomas 

click to enlarge The program includes the world premiere of ((HERE)), a new, multidimensional work by Darian Donovan Thomas (pictured). - DARIAN DONOVAN THOMAS
  • Darian Donovan Thomas
  • The program includes the world premiere of ((HERE)), a new, multidimensional work by Darian Donovan Thomas (pictured).
As increasing rates of COVID-19 vaccinations provide rays of hope after a painful year, SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s latest concert embraces both grief and radical joy.

Opening in an elegiac mood, the concert features the world premiere of Pulitzer and Grammy-winning composer and repeat SOLI collaborator Aaron Jay Kernis’ Elegy for those we lost. Originally written for solo piano, the work was released on YouTube as part of a collaboration with filmmaker Esther Shubinski memorializing those who have been lost to COVID-19. For SOLI’s performance, Kernis arranged the elegy for Carolyn True and Ertan Torgul to play on piano and violin.

After a bittersweet midprogram performance of selections from Chick Corea’s Children’s Songs honoring the influential composer, who passed away in February of this year, the concert concludes with a second world premiere, this time from San Antonio native Darian Donovan Thomas.

Thomas’ multidimensional work ((HERE)) “tells the story of the BIPOC experience, past and present, through a signature blend of styles — contemporary classical, ‘80s hip hop, and flamenco all unite together in a joyful statement of strength and solidarity.” For the performance, SOLI will be joined by San Antonio Poet Laureate and hip-hop artist Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson — who collaborated with Thomas directly to provide texts and song material for the extended piece — and noted Alamo City flamenco dancer Tamara Adira.

$15-$25, 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Betty Kelso Center and Greehey Lawn, San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Place, (210) 536-1400,

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November 17, 2021

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