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Of Our New Day Begun: Mozart, Shostakovich & Thomas

BMO (B)eyond Classics

Of Our New Day Begun: Mozart, Shostakovich & Thomas

From deep resounding low notes to sweet melodies and unhindered expression, Kathryn Brooks brings out the beautiful sound of the bassoon in Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto. Russian composers Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich book- end the evening with works inspired by revolution and impacted by war, along with the fiercely powerful piece by American composer Omar Thomas, Of Our New Day Begun, commissioned to commemorate the 2015 Charleston church shootings.


Overture – Program Notes

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Kathryn Brooks photo by Chronic Creative

Daniel Raiskin


Kathryn Brooks



Classical Symphony (Symphony No. 1)

Sergei Prokofiev

Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Of Our New Day Begun

Omar Thomas

Chamber Symphony for Strings

Dmitri Shostakovich

Get more acquainted

·      At first, Sergei Prokofiev was not overly troubled by the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in February 1917; he even ventured out of his Petrograd apartment to observe the protests while avoiding the bullets as best he could. Prokofiev finished his Classical Symphony in September of that year and then the Bolshevik coup happened in October. That was enough for him to decide to emigrate as soon as possible. He met with the new People’s Commissariat for Education in order to obtain permission to go abroad. Prokofiev recalled his surreal interview with the Commissariat: ‘You ought to stay here, what do you want to go to America for?’ ‘I’ve worked for a year and now I want to get some fresh air.’ ‘We have all the fresh air you could want in Russia.’ ‘But that is in the moral sense, and my present need for air is a purely physical one.’


·      American composer Omar Thomas was commissioned to commemorate the 2015 Charleston shootings where nine black churchgoers were killed. He was reluctant to take the commission, knowing how important the project would be. It was his father who encouraged him to accept the responsibility. “I knew it needed to be anchored by the Black National Anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’. I knew I wanted to use part of the lyrics for the title. Something that encapsulated moving forward, catharsis, the next step, and ‘Of Our New Day Begun’ rang out to me. So I put that on the top of the score.”


·      In the summer of 1960 Dmitri Shostakovich’s work on the score of a Soviet-East German film took him to Dresden, the German city that had been destroyed in 1945 by an Allied firebombing which killed more people than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. There, in a span of three days, Shostakovich composed a quartet inscribed “In memory of victims of fascism and war.” That much is for sure. Everything else about this Quartet, its genesis, and its meaning, has been fiercely debated.



Oct 30, 2021 | 7:30 pm


Centennial Concert Hall, MB, Canada

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BMO Financial Group

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