On Sunday, August 14, the brilliant violinist Jennifer Koh joined the Philharmonia Orchestra and its principal conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, in the European premiere of a new composition by Missy Mazzoli, Violin Concerto ("Procession"), during the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Audio for the entire program – which also included ballet music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Prokofiev – is streaming on-demand now on the BBC website.
The concerto was jointly commissioned by the BBC along with the National Symphony Orchestra, which presented the work's world premiere in February with Koh as soloist and Gemma New conducting, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which performed, livestreamed, and broadcast a performance of the concerto in March.
One movement from the streamed performance is still available online, as is a brief interview with Mazzoli.
Anyone who's followed me for any time at all knows that I'm a longtime follower of Koh and Mazzoli, individually and together, so it was a real joy to be asked by the BBC to provide a brief essay for the program book. You bet I pulled out The Great Twitter Prophecy of 2009 for the occasion.
This was my second time to write about Mazzoli for the Proms; the first was in 2017, when Karina Canellakis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra presented Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres). I'm deeply grateful to the BBC for both opportunities.
The new essay is not available online, so these screenshots will have to suffice.