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Awaken the Sleeper

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Sunday • October 23, 2022 • 3:00 pm
Lyman Center for the Performing Arts 501 Crescent Street
New Haven, Connecticut (CT) 06515

Joel Thompson faces the camera smiling. He is a Black man and is wearing glasses and a purple collared shirt with a white patterned tie.

The Music

Joel Thompson
To Awaken the Sleeper (New England Premiere)

Dmitri Shostakovich
Symphony No. 11, “The Year 1905”

The NHSO’s residency at SCSU opens with Alasdair Neale conducting two powerful works offering mediation and action for the challenges of our current times. Composer-in-Residence Joel Thompson narrates the New England premiere of his setting of texts by iconic author James Baldwin in “To Awaken the Sleeper” and the NHSO plays Shostakovich’s ode to musical resistance with Symphony No. 11, “The Year 1905.”

Joel Thompson says, “Given the sort of turmoil as it relates to race in our society, Baldwin’s writings were sort of a beacon for me, a source of comfort a way for me to focus my craft… In the world of classical music in which my identity is historically marginalized, having a space here, where I can speak and be heard is very important, and Baldwin faced similar obstacles.”

The Performers

New Haven Symphony Orchestra
Alasdair Neale, Conductor & Music Director
Joel Thompson, Narrator & NHSO Composer-in-Residence

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Please consider making a donation to Doctors United 4 Ukraine, an organization formed in May 2022 by faculty at Yale University and Yale Medical School. DU4U has been sending supplies to hospitals in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Dnipro. They have received an overwhelming number of requests for assistance from medical teams in these areas and greatly appreciate your support at this difficult time.


Price Chart showing single ticket vs subscription pricing: Premier = $69/55, $59/47, $39/31, $29/23, $15/12Buy Tickets

Tickets to this concert range in price from $15-69 for adults; free for kids under 18 with the purchase of an adult ticket; and $10 for students or additional kid tickets.

Save 20% on tickets when you subscribe to 4 concerts this season! To get the 20% discount, click here to purchasea Classics/Lyman Series subscription package. You can alsobuild your own shopping cartwith tickets to any 4 concerts and the discount will be applied at checkout.

Are you already a subscriber this season? Your 20% discount to this concert will be automatically added at checkout.

Our box office is standing by and happy to assist you! Purchase tickets to this concert or a subscription over the phone by calling (203) 693-1486 Monday-Friday from 12-5pm.

A black and white photo portrait of James Baldwin. Baldwin is a Black man and he is sitting at a table with bookshelves behind him. He has his cheek resting on his hand and his other arm across the table.Interested in learning more about James Baldwin? Click here to learn more at our free pre-concert events.

Interested in purchasing books written by James Baldwin? Check out our book partner, BAMN Books.


Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University



black and white text saying New Haven Register


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