Longmont Symphony recognizes Mental Health Awareness and Pride months

“Beautiful Minds—Darkness and Light” includes world premiere April 15

By Peter Alexander April 13 at 10:05 p.m.


Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, known as the “Pathétique,” appears frequently on orchestral programs. But conductor Elliot Moore and the Longmont Symphony will turn this standard piece of programming in to a little bit of a statement for their next concert, Saturday (7:30 p.m. April 15; full details below) in Vance Brand Civic Auditorium.

The program features two works: the “Pathétique” and the world premiere of a new work by composer Tyler Harrison commissioned by the LSO. Harrison’s Symphony No. 3, subtitled “The Garden of Tears,” was planned as an answer to Tchaikovsky’s final and most emotionally wrought symphony. The programming has been announced by the orchestra as recognizing “Mental Health Awareness Month” (May 1-30) and “Pride Month” (June 1–30).

It is well known that Tchaikovsky was gay, and in 19th-century Russia he necessarily suffered both legal and emotional trauma as a result. It has even been suggested that his death, soon after the completion of the symphony, was a suicide because of his homosexuality being revealed. While that remains speculative, there is no doubt that the composer suffered personal anguish throughout his life. 

The Longmont Symphony Web page states that the two works “take a look at musical expressions of mental health and identity struggles from two similar voices, separated by a century.” But ultimately, Harrison’s symphony has a more optimistic character than Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique.” Harrison wrote of his music, “The garden of life thrives on the tears that water it, but it is laughter that ultimately defines its beauty.”

Tyler Harrison

# # # # # 

“Beautiful Minds—Darkness and Light”
Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Elliot Moore, conductor

  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique”
  • Tyler Harrison: Symphony No. 3, “The Garden of Tears” (LSO commission; World Premiere)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 15
Vance Brand Civic Auditorium


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