Westport-born composer dedicates piece to Sandy Hook, Newtown


(WTNH) — A world premiere concert will take place Thursday evening at the Jorgenson Center at UConn. It is a work called “A Child’s Requiem” done by one of the most respected choral composers in America, Steven Sametz.

Sametz’s 45-minute piece is dedicated to Newtown and Sandy Hook. The inspiration came from hundreds of writings and stories from young children all over America who told their tales of loss.

“How much pressure did you feel to get this right?”

“Huge,” said Sametz. “I thought I needed to, my first consideration was to respect and honor the memories of the people and the families most affected at Newtown.”

“I just took all of these writings of children and drawings and I covered the walls, so I was suddenly in this beautiful rainbow-colored room with all these children’s drawings surrounding me,” he said. “Out of that I just started synthesizing all of these stories and it came into a libretto very quickly, reflecting a children’s world, the child’s world, and I needed to contrast this with the more complicated, violent world of adults. For that I used poetry of Emerson and Dickinson and H.D. and how these worlds collide is really where the piece lives.”

“If somehow the audience meets the piece and the piece connects I think something extraordinary will arise,” said Sametz.

The composer/conductor grew up in Westport. He was commissioned for this work and he hopes it brings healing through art.

The powerful performance will be repeated at the Palace Arts Center in Stamford Saturday night.

For more about Steven Sametz, click here.

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