Few composers are lucky enough to have an orchestra waiting to perform their latest symphonic masterwork.
But violinist Liam Ramsey-White and violist Ethan Durell have that luxury. As composers and orchestra members at Denver School of the Arts, they get to write pieces for the symphony and then help bring them to life.
The DSA orchestra, led by conductor Enrique Lasansky, played pieces by both composers during a recent visit to Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio. DSA specializes in offering advanced arts courses to sixth-through-12th graders with a passion for music and other creative pursuits.
First, here’s a performance of “Reverie” by Ramsey-White, whose music is featured on the DSA orchestra’s concert programs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
White, a senior, told CPR Classical’s David Rutherford he wrote the music as a tribute to his friends in the 2014 class at DSA.
The orchestra also recorded "Bouvetøya" by DSA student Durell, who also plays viola in the InTune String Ensemble.
The piece’s title, he said, refers to a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean. At several points, the score calls for the musicians to whisper what they remember about a recent dream, he said.
Hear guest DJ sets by Ramsey-White and Durell during the 1 p.m. hour on Monday and Tuesday on CPR Classical. They’ll share some of their favorite classical pieces and talk about their own compositions.