The Inside Scoop: Cold Mountain Suite & Ahavah (Love)

Date: January 16, 2023
Author: Susan Abercrombie

Our next Masterworks concert is right around the corner, so we wanted to share with you all some tidbits of deeper insight into two pieces we are so excited to perform: Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain Suite and Meira Warshauer’s Ahavah (Love).

The Long Bay Symphony will be one of 37 symphonies—and one of two in South Carolina—performing Jennifer Higdon’s latest world premiere, Cold Mountain Suite. Debuting as Higdon’s first opera in 2015, Cold Mountain is based on the book of the same name by Charles Frazier, which was also adapted as a movie in 2003 staring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Set during the American Civil War era, the story unfolds as a Confederate soldier, W.P. Inman, deserts the army after being wounded and sets off on a dangerous journey home to return to his wife, Ada Monroe. Higdon’s opera was nominated for two Grammy awards and received the International Opera Award for Best New Opera. Since then, she has successfully compiled the orchestral pieces from the opera into the Cold Mountain Suite, which we will perform on January 29th at our Storytellers: Preserving Traditions Masterworks installment.

According to the League of American Orchestras, Higdon is one of the most frequently performed contemporary composers today. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her Violin Concerto as well as three Grammys. She has several highly popular compositions in her repertoire, including blue cathedral, a piece commissioned for the 75th anniversary of the Curtis Institute of Music and partly inspired by the death of her brother which occurred around the same time (*A little trinket of LBS trivia: we performed this piece at our Pictures at an Exhibition Masterworks concert back in the 2019-2020 season*).

In continuing our intentional efforts to include more and more beautifully talented, modern, women composers, we will also be featuring Meira Warshauer’s Ahavah (Love). Warshauer shares her thoughts on the process of composing Ahavah on her website (linked below). The inspiration for the piece came during a Jewish Renewal retreat on the campus Bryn Mawr College by way of a beech tree. Overwhelmed by a sense of both admiration for and obligation to our beautiful earth, Warshauer composed this piece as both a love letter to our home here and a call to arms to protect it.

Warshauer is actually a native of Wilmington, North Carolina and graduated with degrees from Harvard University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of South Carolina, where she received her DMA (go Gamecocks!). We’re thrilled to include a piece by a Carolina local and are even more excited that she’ll be able to attend the concert on the 29th to hear her piece played.

There is still time to save your seats! Head over to our schedule page to purchase tickets or give our office a call!

Read more on Jennifer Higdon Here.

Read more on Meira Warshauer Here.

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