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American Legacies

Sunday, Jan 15, 2023 / 4:00 pm

Ring in the new year with your Santa Fe Symphony and a brilliant program of all American favorites at the Lensic, Sunday, January 15—4;00 PM! American Legacies opens with an all-time favorite, George Gershwin’s beautiful Lullaby for strings.

Widely recognized as one of the most technically commanding performers of the horn, Jon Boen takes center stage for the premiere of new arrangement of Jan Bach’s Concerto for Horn and Orchestra.

In finale, be swept away by William Grant Still’s famous Symphony No. 1 in A flat Major “Afro-American.” A traditional symphony, infused with blues progressions and rhythms.

EXCITING NEWS—We are thrilled to bring back our FREE Preview Talks this season! Be sure to join us one hour before each Lensic performance for 30 minutes of interesting program details presented by Maestro Figueroa, guest soloists, or musicians. Each talk is unique and all ticket holders are invited!


The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra
Guillermo Figueroa, 
Principal Conductor



Lullaby for Strings


Concerto for Horn and Orchestra
Arranged by Jon Boen—World Premiere!

I. Fantasia
II. Elegie e Scherzo
III. Rondo

Jon Boen, Horn





Symphony No.1 in A flat Major “Afro-American”

Longing: Animato: moderato assai
Sorrow: Adagio
Humor: Animato
Aspiration: Lento, con risoluzione


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Sunday, Jan 15, 2023 / 4:00 pm


Sunday, Jan 15, 2023
4:00 pm
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The Lensic
211 W. San Francisco Street
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Of Note

Often referred to as the “Dean of Afro-American Composers,” William Grant Still’s Afro-American Symphony is the composition for which he is best known. When it premiered in 1931 at the Rochester Philharmonic, it was the first time the complete score of a work by an African-American was performed by a major orchestra.

Jan Bach admitted that his music was difficult to play. His Horn Concerto was written for, and co-commissioned by, Jonathan Boen, who was Principal Horn for the Orchestra of Illinois at the work’s 1983 premiere. In the American Record Guide, critic Barry Kilpatrick wrote that “only the highest level of player can seem in command of the pieces. Everyone else can only try hard.”

Gershwin was just 21 when he wrote Lullaby for Strings. Until the 1960s, it was only performed at private events, although the theme was used in his early opera Blue Monday. While the opera was a commercial failure, bandleader Paul Whiteman was impressed with the composer’s abilities and commissioned him to write a new piece―Rhapsody in Blue.

Jon Boen, Horn

Widely recognized as one of the most technically commanding performers of the horn, Jonathan (Jon) Boen believes that his experience at the opera adds a layer of soaring lyricism to his interpretations not commonly found in brass playing today. Mr. Boen has served as Principal Horn for the Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1979, a position he secured at the age of 22, one year after joining the company as the orchestra’s third horn. In addition, he has held the position of Principal Horn of the Grant

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Guillermo Figueroa, Principal Conductor

One of the most versatile and respected musical artists of his generation—renowned as conductor, violinist, violist and concertmaster—Guillermo Figueroa is the Principal Conductor of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus. He also serves as the Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado and Music Director of the Lynn Philharmonia in Florida, and he is the founder of the highly acclaimed Figueroa Music and Arts Project in Albuquerque. He was the Music Director of the New

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Program Notes

We so automatically identify George Gershwin with Broadway shows that it’s easy to forget that he wanted to succeed as a “classical” composer. He considered taking composition lessons from Ravel and Stravinsky, but these never came about (in fact, Gershwin probably had more influence on Ravel than t…

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