The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra:
When the French scholar Jean Gottmann (1915-1994) was asked about his first trip to the eastern seaboard of America in 1942, the most striking feature he discovered was "the density of great cities along this coast, from Boston to Washington…it resulted obviously from the coalescence, recently achieved, of a chain of metropolitan areas, each of which grew around a substantial urban nucleus. The super-metropolitan character of this vast area, the greatest such growth ever observed, called for a special name. We chose the word ‘Megalopolis’...”
As defined by Gottman in his study "Megalopolis or the Urbanization of the Northeastern Seaboard," (1957) the aim of the Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra (MSO) is to bring together high-caliber musicians from Boston, New York City, and surrounding metropolitan areas. Utilizing this diverse group of artists, the MSO connects audiences with the saxophone orchestra's unique instrumentation, repertoire, and history since the nineteenth century through performances, lectures, and outreach events.
The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra's 2017-18 season features premiere performances of works from the repertoire as well as new works written expressly for the ensemble. Since premiering Alex Burtzos’s Megalopolis in 2017, the MSO has initiated its New Works Series, commissioning composers Jesse Limbacher, Gleb Kanasevich, and Nima Janmohammadi. The first two concerts of the series featured music by Alex Burtzos, Stephen Dankner, Charles Ives, and Jesse Limbacher. For their upcoming concerts, the MSO will present two world premieres dedicated to the ensemble alongside the masterful Three Pieces for Saxophone Orchestra by Werner Wolf Glaser.
The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra gave its inaugural concert at the Dana Hall School of Music on April 9th, 2017. On top of exploring traditional repertoire for saxophone orchestra, this concert included the world premiere of a new work by Alex Burtzos, as well as the Massachusetts premiere of Edmund Jolliffe's Breathe for ten saxophones and piano with pianist Chelsea Whitaker. The Megalopolis Saxophone Orchestra received funding for this inaugural concert through a generous grant from New England Conservatory.
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