Augusta Read Thomas (read about her here) came to UNM for the Robb Composer’s Symposium in late March. The women of my beloved Chamber Singers gave a “world premiere” of a version of her piece, “Plea for Peace,” which had its world premiere in its original version just in the fall of 2017.
Our version (which I really adored, as did she) was for unison women and string quartet. There isn’t a text, which she explained when she met with us and discussed the history a bit. It was commissioned to commemorate the Chicago Pile-1, the first artificial nuclear reactor.
In addition to her amazingly warm spirit and generosity in the rehearsal and working session, I also loved her use of the word “sculpt.” when she was advocating for a more slender opening, for example. She had the women come in one at a time, and one or two with a different vowel. Those were things that I wouldn’t have thought to do.
Photo: With Ms. Thomas, post-performance.
We are grateful for her collaboration and the chance to perform her music!