Composer’s poetry-inspired score to debut at Touhill

Barbara Harbach, professor of music at UMSL, composed the musical score “Phantom of the Dreams’ Origin,” which will make its debut Jan. 11 in the Touhill. (Photo by Stephanie Zettl)

A musical score composed by Barbara Harbach and based on works by Greek surrealist poet Andrea Embirikos will makes its debut at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 in the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on the North Campus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Harbach is a professor of music at UMSL and a composer, publisher and concert performer. Her new composition for chamber orchestra, titled “Phantom of the Dreams’ Origin,” was commissioned by Poetry Scores, a St. Louis-based nonprofit arts organization that translates poetry into other media. The event is co-produced by the Department of Music at UMSL and Women in the Arts at UMSL. The performance is free and open to the public.

The musical composition is divided into eight movements: Procession, Lamentation, Semaphores, Desolation, Deprived, Tranquility, Polyhedral Bell and Spinning Mill of Nocturnal Repose. The piece sets to music a selection of prose poems from Embirikos’ 1935 masterpiece “Blast Furnace.”

Harbach’s score will feature the St. Louis Chamber Players conducted by James Richards, interim dean of College of Fine Arts and Communication at UMSL. The musicians will be Joanna Mendoza (viola), Alla Voskoboynikova (piano), John McGrosso (violin) and Ruth Price (piano).


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