Lehman College congratulates Distinguished Professor of Music John Corigliano, who brought home his fifth Grammy Award at the 56th annual music award ceremony on January 26, 2014. The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Corigliano’s Conjurer—Concerto for Percussionist and String Orchestra with soloist Dame Evelyn Glennie and conductor David Alan Miller won for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
Originally commissioned in 2007 by a consortium of six orchestras, Conjurer was introduced by the Pittsburgh Symphony in the 2007-2008 season. Corigliano was at first hesitant about composing solely for percussion, but ultimately was compelled by the challenge. The Albany Symphony Orchestra recorded the concerto in 2011 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, and the album was released in September 2013.
In her review for allmusic.com, Blair Sanderson describes the concerto as a “head-spinning demonstration of percussion instruments.”
Here, Corigliano exploits the voice’s flexibility of pitch and tonal control through the layering of electronic sounds, coinciding with the wordless melody and expanding into a surprisingly effective orchestral accompaniment. The Albany Symphony, conducted by David Alan Miller, is the orchestra in question, and the deep and resonant sonorities it produces are a vibrant background that lets Glennie and Pittman shine.
The recording was released on the Naxos label.