What does it mean to be an American? American artists, performers, composers, and musicians have sought to answer, question, and reckon with American identity for centuries; and it’s a conversation that is in constant and dynamic flux as we reflect upon our history, both the dark and the beautiful. As an American orchestra, the Omaha Symphony is a steward of this art and of these important conversations as they unfold, a responsibility we take seriously as we move into our next 100 years.
“Celebrating American music to me means taking an honest stock of our history and our future as musicians and people who engage with this artform; it is holding space for and giving our attention to the creative work that comes from artists whose experiences span a wide range,” said Maestro Ankush Kumar Bahl, music director of the Omaha Symphony. “When programming this new season, bringing American artists— both legacy and contemporary—to the forefront was an artistic priority for me. Our broader culture is reckoning with a history that’s kept many voices in American art quiet, but we’re seeing the tides shift. It’s exciting to me that the Omaha Symphony is going to take part in that cultural conversation, presenting works by many different artists with vast experiences of what it means to be American.”
As we head into the Fourth of July holiday, we’re taking some time; both for reflection upon our country and our artform’s complicated history, as well as for celebration of the way music expands our experience with and understanding of the world around us. We’re celebrating some of the American composers and their incredible work you’ll hear on our upcoming 2021-22 season, as well as highlighting some of our favorite recent performances of American works.
Give our playlist a listen, and have a happy holiday weekend! Find more American works performed by your Omaha Symphony below and at SymphonyAnywhere.com.