The Texas A&M University-Commerce Wind Ensemble and Chorale will be performing the world premiere of James Syler’s “The Temptation of St. Anthony” on March 25 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas.
After premiering Syler’s “Symphony in Blue” at Carnegie Hall in 2012, the university’s music department commissioned the composer for a piece for the Wind Ensemble and Chorale in 2013. Syler is a world renowned composer with awards including more than 20 commissions, a commission from the American Composers Forum in New York for the Artaria String Quartet, the1993 National Band Association Composition Award, two grants from the American Music Center in New York, and the 1993 Arnald Gabriel Composition Award. He is also adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of the Incarnate Word.
“Anthony of Egypt was a third century hermit and saint whose dramatic reports of temptation and torment have been a source of inspiration for visual artists and writers from the 10th century to the present,” said Syler. “The most famous being Michelangelo’s very first painting titled ‘The Torment of St. Anthony,’ which is in the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth.”
“The Temptation of St. Anthony” was written for the A&M-Commerce Wind Ensemble and Chorale. The A&M-Commerce Chorale will be accompanied by the A&M-Commerce University Singers, Richland Community College, Kilgore Junior College, Tarrant County College and the Northeast Texas Community college for the event, Music at the Meyerson.
“This music for chorus and wind ensemble is in six sections and lasts about 20 minutes,” said Syler. “The sections are titled by phrases I found memorable from my reading of Athanasius’ book ‘The Life of Antony.’ I’ve avoided approaching the music as a direct retelling of events. Instead Anthony’s temptations serve as an analogy for the process of temptation – approach, doubt, temptation, torment, relief, and joy. The music is full of drama, sensuality, horror and strangely enough, joy.”
The Meyerson Symphony Center is home to the world-class Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Turtle Creek Chorale, the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. The concert will begin at 7:30. Tickets will be $10 for general admission and $20 for Loge Boxes (limited number for sale).
Information about James Syler and the A&M-Commerce Wind Ensemble and Chorale can be found at http://sites.tamuc.edu/news/university-announces-commission-by-composer-james-syler/.