2023 GRAMMY-Winning Ensemble “Time for Three” to Headline NHSO Concert on Thursday, October 26 at Woolsey Hall

Friday • October 20, 2023

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra welcomes the 2023 Grammy Award-winning ensemble Time for Three for a genre-bending blockbuster concert of American music on Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Woolsey Hall. Conducted by Music Director Alasdair Neale, the concert will include Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Pulitzer-prize winning composer Kevin Puts’s Contact, as well as a few surprise pieces that will delight both classical music fans and new listeners.

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Music Director Alasdair Neale says, “There’s very little in the world of classical music that can compare to a performance by my dear friends the violinists Nick Kendall and Charles Yang, and the bassist Ranaan Meyer, collectively known as Time for Three.  If you’ve never experienced them, I can promise you you’re in for a major treat.  Trained at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, they are as much at home in Bach as they are in bluegrass. They can do a mashup of the Beatles and Chopin and make it sound like the most beautiful and natural thing ever.  And they’re bringing to New Haven a major new piece written for them by the composer Kevin Puts, entitled Contact. The album won not one but two Grammys last year (Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Classical Instrumental Solo) and has proved to be a sensation with audiences in the performances it has received to date.”

The first half of the program will feature the orchestral music from Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, a cornerstone work in American classical music that reflects the historical context of its creation during the early 1940s. Commissioned by the choreographer Martha Graham to be a ballet and premiered in 1944, this score was composed against the backdrop of World War II. Appalachian Spring embodies the optimism and determination of the era, mirroring the American spirit as the country rallied behind the war effort. The piece draws much of its inspiration from the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts,” which is interwoven with Copland’s signature style characterized by open harmonies, poignant folk melodies, and spacious orchestration.

Time for Three will join the orchestra for the second half of the concert, opening their set with American composer Kevin Puts’s Contact, which also won a 2023 Grammy Award for composition. Puts explains that the piece contemplates the concept of “contact” in response to the Covid-19 pandemic: “The word ‘contact has gained new resonance during these years of isolation. It is my hope that this concerto might be heard as an expression of yearning for this fundamental human need.”

The groundbreaking, category-shattering trio Time for Three transcends traditional classification, forming a blend all its own with elements of classical, country western, folk, and jazz idioms. The members — Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; Charles Yang, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass — carry a passion for improvisation, composition, and arrangements, all prime elements of the ensemble’s playing. Time for Three won the 2023 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for their recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Maestra Xian Zhang, Letters for the Future. Recent Highlights include Carnegie Hall, appearances with the Boston Pops, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, sold-out concerts with the Czech Philharmonic and BBC Proms, and an appearance on the ABC prime-time hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” 

Tickets: Tickets start at $15. Tickets for youth 17 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. To purchase tickets, visit NewHavenSymphony.org or call (203) 693-1486 Monday-Friday from 12-5pm.

Time for Three is sponsored by Connecticut Department of Economic Development, Office of the Arts; Frontier; and the New Haven Register.

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