A Symphony for Peace and Justice
Heitzeg's most monumental composition to date. Originally commissioned by Gustavus Adolphus College to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prizes, the piece was performed a second time on April 18, 2004 by Vocalessence at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, but with an added dimension. Minneapolis College of Art and Design students created an interactive media component to accompany the work in performance.
- A symphony where the audience interacts with more than sound
"Composer Steven Heitzeg is a very modest man. Ask him about his sprawling, multi-layered Nobel Symphony, and he gives a nutshell description. "The piece's intent is to honor all of the six disciplines or prizes of the Nobel Foundation, and at the same time is, in essence, a symphony for peace and justice," Heitzeg says.
That only begins to describe the Nobel Symphony's ambition and complexity. It's approximately 75-minutes long. There's a movement for every Nobel Prize, from Peace, Literature, and Physics, to Chemistry, Medicine and Economics. It requires a full orchestra, a chorus, a childrens choir and several soloists.
Musicians play instruments from all over the world, including Tibetan singing bowls, and African drums. They bang on empty soup cans to symbolize hunger, and play prosthetic legs to represent the hollowness of war. The words in the libretto were culled from the speeches and writings of Nobel Laureates over the decades. The piece is awash in symbolism and metaphor." - Chris Roberts, Minnesota Public Radio