The World Premiere of Barbara Harbach’s Gateway Festival Symphony will be presented by Dr. James Richards and the Gateway Festival Orchestra on Sunday, July 7 at 7:30 PM, outdoors in the Brookings Quadrangle of Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive in St. Louis, Missouri.

The composer writes about the new work, “The Gateway Festival Symphony, commissioned by the Gateway Festival Orchestra for their 50th Jubilee Anniversary in 2013, is written for and dedicated to Dr. James Richards and the Gateway Festival Orchestra.”

“I. Confluencity depicts the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers with the ebb and flow of two rivers playing and colliding, producing turbulence in early spring with melting snows and winds that whip the waters into a dangerous, dramatic frenzy. Other themes portray the waters as calm, with sparkling serenity. The themes interact, alternate and fuse before coming to the affirmation that the rivers will always be a life source.”

“II. Sunset: St. Louis is inspired by the St. Louisan, Sara Teasdale and her poem, Sunset: Saint Louis.  The themes reflect the structure and majesty of the city’s natural and historic monuments coupled with the city’s myriad cultural influences. The movement begins with the slow languidness of the hot St. Louis summers. A slow tango intertwines with a rippling water theme.”

III. After Forever begins with a dramatic trumpet call-to-arms, reminding us of the struggle that Dred and Harriet Scott waged to win their independence. Their struggle helped catapult the United States into the Civil War.  Of all the states, Missouri was the third in recorded battles and engagements, and that does not take into account the unrecorded guerilla warfare, which defined so much of the state’s involvement. This movement reflects the pivotal role Missouri played in the Civil War, and the lasting, enduring strength of its people.”

For more about the July 7 program and Gateway Festival Orchestra, visit

MSR Classics has released Ms. Harbach’s critically acclaimed Music for Strings (MS1258) with the London Philharmonic and Orchestral Music, Volume 1 (MS1252) with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. For more about these and her other MSR CDs, visit Her website is at

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