Grammy-winning bassist Edgar Meyer is celebrated around the world for his work as a performer and composer, while the Scottish Ensemble has redefined the string orchestra with vibrant and engaging performances. These dynamos combine genre energies and traditions for a performance of classical worksincluding a new composition by Meyer written especially for this tour, at the Moss Arts Center on Thursday March 31 at 7:30 p.m.
A Blacksburg favourite, Meyer is making his third appearance at the Moss Arts Center for the performancewhich will be held at the Anne and Ellen Fife Theater in the center, located in the Street and Davis performance hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
In addition to Meyer’s new composition, the evening concert will feature the first movement of Meyer’s String Quintet, “St. Paul’s Suite”, Bach’s Gamba Sonata in G, Caroline Shaw’s “Punctum” and “The Lark Ascending” by Vaughan Williams.
This event brings together two formidable forces in the interpretation of classical music. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicality, coupled with his gift for composition, brought him to the fore, and his uniqueness in the field was recognized with a MacArthur Award in 2002. Scottish Ensemble is the premier string orchestra from the UK with a core of exceptional string players who inspire audiences with vibrant performances that are powerful, challenging and enriching experiences that cross genres, styles, musical periods and art forms to offer new perspectives on classical music.
In 2011, Meyer joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile and fiddler Stuart Duncan for the Grammy-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions. He received his fifth Grammy Award in 2015 for his “Bass & Mandolin” collaboration with Thile, and his latest recording, “Not Our First Rodeo,” is the 2020 sequel to “The Goat Rodeo Sessions.”
Meyer has also carved out a remarkable niche for himself as a composer. His “New Piece for Orchestra” was premiered and commissioned by the Nashville Symphony and the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2017, and “Concerto for Double Bass and Violin” was premiered in 2012 by Bell and Meyer at the Tanglewood Music Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Meyer collaborated with Béla Fleck and Zakir Hussain to write a triple concerto for double bass, banjo and tabla, which was commissioned for the opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
Collaborations are at the heart of Meyer’s work. In 2017 he joined fellow bassist Christian McBride to present their original music, and he toured the US with Ma and Thile performing works from their Bach Trios recording. He collaborated with Ma and Mark O’Connor for the release of “Appalachia Waltz” in 1996, which soared to the top of the charts and stayed there for 16 weeks. The following recording, “Appalachian Journey,was honored with a Grammy Award.
Based in Glasgow, Scotland, and led by Artistic Director Jonathan Morton, the Scottish Ensemble regularly collaborates with renowned guest artists, from trumpeter Alison Balsom and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, to cellist Pieter Wispelwey and the violinists Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Nicola Benedetti. increasingly known for his international collaborations with artists from other disciplines. Beginning in 2014, the ensemble’s annual series of cross-arts collaborations includes immersive projects with visual artist Toby Paterson, Swedish contemporary dance company Andersson Dance, electronic-classical crossover composer Anna Meredith and artist visual Eleanor Meredith, and the Scottish theater company Vanishing Point.