Powerful Stories Need Powerful Music

History, Herstory: Scheherazade and Lincoln Portrait Featured in May Concert

Legend says that Scheherazade wove fantastic tales, night after night, to convince the all-powerful sultan to spare her life.

 “This story makes me think of all the times women have so much less power than the men around them.”

According to violinist Kit Boulding, the iconic image of Scheherazade as an exotic temptress is just plain wrong.

“She’s really a heroic character. This man had absolute control over her, yet she used her own power – the only power she had – to tell these amazing tales, showing him that she is human, and not just another object for him to dispose of.”

On May 14th, Kit will perform as soloist on Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade as part of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra’s concert, History, Herstory.

Rimsky-Korsakov used the voice of the solo violin to speak for Scheherazade. Kit thinks of that musical theme as a thread, weaving in and out of the fabric of the piece as a whole –

 “Throughout the piece you play the same melody many different times. You have to keep re-inventing it – a touch more emphasis on this note, or maybe link these two notes just a bit differently this time, again and again. And each time it has to be a fresh approach, because it’s telling a new part of the story.”

So, HER story is told in the voice of the solo violin, but what about HIS story?

Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait tells the story of another powerful man, who used that power to transform a nation.

Composed during World War II, Lincoln Portrait was Copland’s way of comforting and inspiring a terrified nation. By quoting him directly, the composer drew parallels between Lincoln’s struggles to preserve human dignity during a time of crisis and the struggles of the Allied forces against the specter of fascism.

WFIU’s George Walker will narrate the BSO’s performance of Lincoln Portrait, which marries the words of Lincoln himself with an orchestral piece that is both familiar and new. “Camptown Races” and other folk melodies serve as raw material for Copland’s development, culminating in a powerful reading of some of Lincoln’s most memorable words.

“That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

What: History, Herstory
When: Sunday, May 14th 6:00 pm
Where: Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood
Who: The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra

Tickets: Available at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office – General Admission $15 ($18 day of show); Student w/ID $8 ($10 day of show), 18 & under FREE (requires ticket)