Bright Sheng, a name familiar to SSO audiences, sat down with the Gathering Note earlier this month. The composer was in town to hear the orchestra perform two of his short pieces. One of them, Prelude to Black Swan, a world premiere. The other, Shanghai Overture, a Seattle premiere.
Sheng came onto the classical music scene in the 1980’s when he and a number of other Chinese composers settled in New York to continue their studies and also begin careers. A young Gerard Schwarz noticed the composer, commissioned a piece for his chamber orchestra, and helped launch Sheng’s career.
Schwarz and Sheng’s creative partnership has resulted in countless commissions and premieres, and two stints for the composer as Seattle’s composer in residence.