Listen: Lumen de Lumine excerpts

Composer Jacob Bancks demonstrates passages from his piano concerto, Lumen de Lumine.

Audio and video courtesy of the South Dakota Symphony and pianist William Phemister, from the rehearsals for the 2008 world premiere.

SDG Commission to be Performed in Sarajevo

Sarajevo Philharmonic
Sarajevo Philharmonic

Soli Deo Gloria is pleased to be a sponsor of two Sarajevo Philharmonic performances of the SDG-commissioned piano concerto Lumen de Lumine by Jacob Bancks, directed by Chicago-based conductor Nyela Basney, with pianist Daniel Paul Horn, Professor of Piano and Chair of Keyboard Studies at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.

Composer Jacob Bancks plans to attend both performances, the first on April 23, 2015, at the National Theatre Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the second on April 24, 2015, at The House of Culture, Brčko (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The program for both concerts includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Op. 21, C Major and J. Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjue, The concerts are held in cooperation with the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS), which aims to provide connections between Bosnian-Herzegovinian scientists, artist and professionals in North America and build the bridges of cooperation with the homeland.

Lumen de Lumine (2008) by Jacob Bancks is a piano concerto in two movements, inspired the by traditional Easter Vigil and written in memory of Olivier Messiaen. The title, Lumen de Lumine, translated from the Latin as “Light from Light,” comes from the Nicene Creed, where it is used as a description of Christ. The piece includes many direct references to parts of the traditional Easter Vigil, the Roman Catholic Mass from which it draws inspiration. Historically, this service is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Saturday evening and sunrise on Easter morning, as the first official celebration of the Resurrection.

This is not the first occasion on which Ms. Basney has conducted the Sarajevo Philharmonic. On a prior trip, in 2011, she wrote,

“There are many talented and experienced individual musicians in the Sarajevo Philharmonic who came together with me to present an inspiring and moving performance. The rehearsal process was fraught, however, by ongoing tensions between musicians in the orchestra (exacerbated by the war in the 1990s) and lack of basic funding for music and instruments.  During breaks, musicians shared with me stories of atrocities perpetrated by other members of the orchestra against their families during the war.  It was an emotionally challenging and exhausting week.

“I was able to help establish a ‘safe’ artistic environment and, over the course of the week, the musicians and I forged a loving relationship.  After the concert, we embraced spontaneously, and there was an openness and sense of community that had been missing at the beginning of the week.  It is this relationship and healing that I hope to sustain by returning to conduct.”

Ms. Basney has a heart for those who have suffered during the war and, on this 2015 return trip, with the help of SDG, she is eager to support the musicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “With its numinous spirituality,” says Basney, “Lumen de Lumine will, by itself, create a healing space.” Even in the early rehearsal stages with the Sarajevo Philharmonic, Basney reported, “As we've worked in successive rehearsals, they have warmed to the piece. They are cheering each other as sections of the piece come together. Truly, Bancks’ piece is bringing light into the Sarajevo Philharmonic and will, through them, bring light into the lives of the audiences in Sarajevo and in Brčko.”

 

Nyela Basney
Nyela Basney
(Photo: Sam Hollis)

Nyela Basney, conductor

Nyela Basney is founder and director of Orvieto Musica, Chamber Music Festival in Italy. Miss Basney has appeared with the Toledo Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Sarajevo Philharmonic, the Massapequa Philharmonic, and the Glens Falls Symphony, among others. She conducted over 125 concerts with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra as Associate Conductor and has served as Music Director of the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale. Currently, she is Artistic Director of Opera at North Park University in Chicago. She is scheduled to conduct at the Opera Festival di Roma in 2015. She attended the Eastman School of Music, receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance with highest distinction.

 

Daniel Paul Horn  
Daniel Paul Horn  

Daniel Paul Horn, pianist

Daniel Paul Horn performs throughout North America in recital, on radio, and with orchestras. As a chamber musician, he collaborates with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has played in Beijing and with the Ying Quartet. He has premiered compositions of Jacob Bancks, Delvyn Case, David M. Gordon, Daniel Kellogg, and Max Raimi. He recorded the critically praised disc “Wanderings” on a Graf fortepiano, an all-Schumann recital and discs with cellist Donald Moline and soprano Carolyn Hart. Horn studied at Peabody and earned a doctorate at the Juilliard School. Currently, he is Professor of Piano and Chair of Keyboard Studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. He has also served as a faculty artist at a number of American summer festivals.

 

Jacob Bancks  
Jacob Bancks  

Jacob Bancks, composer

Jacob Bancks has written commissions for the American Modern Ensemble, the United States Marine Band, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, eighth blackbird, Pacifica Quartet, Schola Antiqua of Chicago, Cantori New York, marimba virtuoso Makoto Nakura, Annapolis Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, Soli Deo Gloria, the International Double Reed Society, the Millennium Chamber Players, the Hanson Institute for American Music, the Commission Project, oboist Gordon Hunt, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Eastman Philharmonia, OSSIA New Music, Kobe (Japan) City Philharmonic Chorus, Kyoto Gewandhauschor, Spektral Quartet, and the Quad City Symphony. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Eastman School of Music, and Wheaton College (Illinois) and serves as Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois).