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The Fall of Richmond is a three-movement concert work for chamber orchestra that evokes the turmoil and exultation which overtook Virginia's capital on April 2-4,1865 as Confederate forces burned and fled the city. Composer Curt Sydnor crafted the work as a symphonic ode to the US Colored Troops regiment which then led the march into Richmond, saving it from greater destruction, and to President Lincoln’s improbable visit the following day. The hymn "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is woven throughout the work to evoke the African American freedom struggle which found a deep symbolic expression in the events surrounding Richmond's dramatic transfer to Union control. The composer will be joined in this performance by members of the Richmond Symphony, conductor Naima Burrs, and other prominent local musicians.
Additionally, the concert will feature the premier of a song cycle inspired by the life of Elizabeth van Lew, Union spy and lifelong parishioner at St. John's Episcopal Church. The cycle centers around a movement entitled "Cipher" which is sung in code (and depicted on the concert poster)-- the same visual code van Lew used to secretly communicate with Union General Benjamin Butler during the Civil War.
Curt Sydnor has received numerous accolades for his compositions and was recently awarded a recording grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts to complete his sixth album, Air Ride Equipped. He holds music degrees from Vanderbilt and Indiana Universities and studied composition in Moscow, Russia with the late Yuri Butsko, a student of Dmitri Shostakovich.

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