Arts + Culture

UCLA Philharmonia releases world-premiere recordings on new CD

'Poems and Prayers' features the works of composer Mohammed Fairouz and was recorded at UCLA's iconic Royce Hall

It’s been a year of firsts for UCLA Philharmonia.
Last fall, the university’s top orchestra released its first CD — a Yarlung Records disc of first-ever orchestral recordings by Eric Zeisl — to critical acclaim. Then in December, Philharmonia spearheaded a groundbreaking festival on campus called “Listening to the Other: Mideast Musical Dialogues.”
On May 27, the Sono Luminus label released Philharmonia’s second CD of the school year, titled “Poems and Prayers” and showcasing performances by approximately 250 student musicians from Philharmonia, University Chorale and UCLA University Chorus, joined by acclaimed soloists Sasha Cooke, David Krakauer and David Kravitz, all conducted by UCLA Professor Neal Stulberg.
The CD features world-premiere recordings of two works by composer Mohammed Fairouz, which were performed at UCLA Philharmonia’s December festival: Symphony No. 3 (“Poems and Prayers”) and “Tahrir,” a clarinet concerto written for 2013-14 UCLA Regents’ Lecturer David Krakauer. Both works were recorded in Royce Hall, and express the power of music to serve as a peace-building force in the Middle East.
“It’s extremely rare that a new, large-scale choral symphony by an American composer gets recorded commercially, so I expect significant critical attention to ‘Poems and Prayers,’” Stulberg said. “It’s a landmark for our music school that UCLA Philharmonia has released two discs in one year that both contribute so significantly to the recorded repertoire.”
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