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New World Symphony

Your BPO presents an evocative musical narration of “From the Diary of Anne Frank,” composed by former BPO Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Contrasting the program is Antonin Dvořák’s well-known love letter to North America, “From the New World.”


Teddy Abrams, conductor
Cantor-Rabbi Penny Myers, narrator

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS From the Diary of Anne Frank
Part 1: Allegro con brio
Part 2: Lento e lugubre
Part 3: Allegretto con movimento


DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
I. Adagio – Allegro molto
II. Largo
III. Scherzo: Molto vivace
IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco

About Teddy Abrams

Teddy Abrams, Musical America’s 2022 Conductor of the Year, is now in his tenth season as Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra (LO). As profiled by the New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, The New Yorker, NPR, Opera News, the Wall Street Journal, PBS’ Articulate, and PBS’ NewsHour, he has been the galvanizing force behind the orchestra’s extraordinary artistic renewal and innovative community engagement since his appointment in September 2014.

2023-24 season highlights for Abrams and LO include the mandolinist, vocalist, and composer Chris Thile joining them for a leg of their historic multi-season state tour, “In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour of the Louisville Orchestra.” Other season highlights include music of Gabriel Kahane and John Adams, Mahler’s “Tragic” Symphony No. 6, and “Creators Fest” concerts featuring world premieres of works from the Louisville Orchestra Creators Corps.

Abrams continues to be in high demand as a guest conductor, this winter making his debut in Helsinki in addition to the BPO, and returning to the Utah Symphony. Highlights of his 2022-23 season included engagements with the Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado, Kansas City, and Pacific Symphonies; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; and Innsbruck’s Tyrol Symphony Orchestra.

An award-winning composer, in April 2023 Abrams premiered his own Mammoth with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, and the LO in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. Other recent compositional highlights include a piano concerto for Yuja Wang, with which he and the Louisville Orchestra made their Deutsche Grammophon debuts on her March 2023 release, The American Project, and Space Variations, composed for Universal Music Group’s 2022 World Sleep Day. Abrams is now at work on ALI, a musical about Muhammad Ali scheduled to premiere in fall 2024 in Louisville, the boxer’s birthplace, before opening on Broadway in spring 2025.

Other notable Louisville collaborations include the song cycle The Order of Nature, composed with Jim James, vocalist and guitarist for My Morning Jacket, and recorded with the LO on Decca Gold. On the same label, Abrams, the LO, and singer-songwriter Storm Large recorded All In, featuring American music by Cole Porter, Aaron Copland, and Abrams and Large themselves.

About Cantor-Rabbi Penny Myers

Native Buffalonian Cantor Penny Myers has been described as “versatile,” “engaging,” “warm,” and “gifted.” Her lyric soprano caught the attention of world-renowned expert in Jewish liturgical music, Cantor Mordechai Sobol. In 2018 at his invitation, she recorded the Jewish prayer “Kol Nidrei” at Eshel Studios in Tel Aviv, Israel and became an international recording artist. After his passing, Myers learned she was the fifth woman and last Cantor to be recorded in studio with Cantor Sobol.In 1996, Myers earned a B.A. in music (voice) from Buffalo State University, where she was a soprano soloist with the Chamber Ensemble’s central European tour. She continued her education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a Master of Arts in Teaching Music Education in 1999.

It was Cantor Myers’ devotion to her faith and desire to keep Jewish musical traditions alive that led her to study under Cantor Benjamin Maissner in Toronto, earning her Hazzan (Hebrew for ‘Cantor’) credential from the Cantors Assembly. During the pandemic Cantor Myers began studying for the Rabbinate, and in 2022 she received Rabbinic Ordination from Mesifta Adas Wolkowisk – Rabbinical Academy of America, making history in Buffalo as the first and only dually ordained Jewish clergy person in Western New York.

Cantor-Rabbi Myers is married to neurologist Dr. Bennett Myers and has three children: Hunter, Saul, and Corrinne.


Saturday, February 17, 2024
7:30 pm
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Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201 United States
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(716) 885-5000

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