Commissioned by Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Made possible through the generous support of Helen Zell
Co-Commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Music Academy of the West
Hymn for Everyone is based on a hymn that I wrote during the spring of 2021 that was a reflection on personal and collective challenges happening at the time. Up until that point, I had resisted composing “response pieces” to the pandemic and social-political upheaval, and had been experiencing an intense writer’s block.
But one day, after a long hike, this hymn just came to me — a rare occurrence. The melody traverses through different orchestral “choirs”, and is accompanied by the rest of the ensemble. It is a kind of meditation for orchestra, exploring various washes of color and timbre through each repetition of the melody.
— Jessie Montgomery