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For Independence Week, Classical 90.9 Cincinnati Public Radio is featuring new Time for Three recording

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Time For Three (TF3) has released their new album Letters for the Future with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Xian Zhang on Deutsche Grammophon on June 10. The album comprises world premiere recordings of two technically demanding and musically virtuosic concerti for trio and orchestra by two Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, written fifteen years apart but both commissioned for the group: Jennifer Higdon’s 2007 Concerto 4-3 and Kevin Puts’s brand-new Contact, the first track of which is available May 20. A PBS Articulate episode about the project will be released to PBS affiliates nationwide on May 24. 
Time For Three comprises two violinists, Nicolas “Nick” Kendall and Charles Yang, and bassist Ranaan Meyer; all three musicians are also vocalists, a defining feature of the group since Yang joined in 2015 that Puts makes good use of in Contact. Both Kendall and Meyer attended Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute and played early in their careers with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Yang graduated from Juilliard. Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., explains:
“The Philadelphia Orchestra’s collaboration with Time For Three showcases works by two of the most innovative and exciting composers of our day, Jennifer Higdon and Kevin Puts, that we hope will inspire an expansion of the repertoire for string trio and orchestra for future generations.  This recording also represents a homecoming of sorts, as we welcome back the musicians of Time For Three, who have deep connections to Philadelphia. Among the many things that shine through in this project is the special bond that exists between Time For Three and the Philadelphia Orchestra.”
Contact was commissioned for Time For Three by a group of orchestras* and PACs led by the San Francisco Symphony and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), the Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer home. San Francisco had been slated to play the work first in the summer of 2020, followed by the other commissioning orchestras, until the pandemic caused a change of plan. In the end, the Florida Orchestra gave a “sneak peek” premiere this past March, with San Francisco, SPAC and Sun Valley Music Festival performances to follow this summer in July and August. Puts’s idea for the work was to write something that was “of the unknown,” and he experimented with the ideas of unexplored frontiers and the greater beyond. TF3 elaborates: 
“When the world was plunged into the fragility of the pandemic … we were really inspired by the incredible work and international cooperation that was happening on the International Space Station – how humans from all over the world were quite literally rising above us all, working together for a future that transcended the pandemic. The idea that there were people able to look at the world from a perspective we lacked instilled a sense of hope for the future in us, and that hope has been woven into the very fabric of this concerto.”
Puts also highlights the influence of the pandemic on the title, which was originally just Triple Concerto:
“The word ‘contact’ has gained new resonance during these years of isolation. It is my hope that this concerto might be heard as an expression of yearning for this fundamental human need. I am deeply grateful to Time For Three for their belief in my work and for the tireless collaborative spirit which allowed us to develop this showcase for their immense talents.”
Higdon’s Concerto 4-3 was commissioned for Time For Three by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Wheeling Symphony. The concerto was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra and TF3 in 2008 under the baton of one of the group’s mentors, Christoph Eschenbach. They have performed it since with dozens of other orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, led by Marin Alsop, in Carnegie Hall. A video of TF3 recording Concerto 4-3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Xian Zhang can be found here. TF3 explains:

For the week of July 4, Classical 90.9 - Cincinnati Public Radio is featuring new sounds from the Philadelphia Orchestra with Time for Three, plus the Cloud Atlas Symphony by Gene Pritsker, and the newly knighted Sir Stephen Hough playing Schubert!  Here's the schedule

Tuesday 7/5: Jennifer Higdon: Concerto 4-3 Time for Three/Philadelphia Orchestra, Xian Zhang conductor ‘Letters for the Future’ DG Classics

Wednesday 7/6: Gene Pritsker: Cloud Atlas Symphony MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony, Kristjan Jarvi conductor ‘Cloud Atlas Symphony’ Self release

Thursday 7/7: Kevin Puts: Contact Time for Three/Philadelphia Orchestra, Xian Zhang conductor ‘Letters for the Future’ DG Classics

Friday 7/8: Franz Schubert: Sonata in A major D664 Sir Stephen Hough, piano ‘Sonatas’ Hyperion Records