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Imagine – Peace at Play

Northwest Sinfonietta commissions choral work from Dalit Warshaw for a peace-inspired concert, Imagine - Peace at Play

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Imagine – Peace at Play Update

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Northwest Sinfonietta

Northwest Sinfonietta is thrilled to announce that Dalit Warshaw has completed her commissioned work for chorus and chamber orchestra for our Imagine–Peace at Play program. The work, titled After the Deluge, and the Imagine–Peace at Play concert are particularly poignant in light of the world’s sudden unity in the uncertainty and struggle brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are currently waiting to determine if our May 16 & 17, 2020 concerts may proceed as scheduled or if they need to be rescheduled in response to social distancing requirements, but either way we look forward with great anticipation to performing After the Deluge and the entire program as soon as possible. Following is a short description by Ms. Warshaw of her new work.

Upon being approached to create a new work for the Northwest Sinfonietta’s visionary concert, “Imagine – Peace at Play,” it was important for me to narrate a universally relatable scenario, a tale of humanity in dialogue with its world. I was drawn to the story of Noah’s Flood, a story of especial relevance in these particular fraught times, as people of all nations find themselves equally united within a communal self-isolation, and society as we know it lies in a general state of waiting and hope. My depiction begins after the Flood: The curtain opens upon a scene of silent anticipation, Noah’s ark resting atop its mountain, the waters ebbing. The last survivors have been sequestered in the ark, waiting for the right occasion to venture out. At last, Noah opens the window, tentatively sending out bird-messengers to assess the state of the earth and bring back signs of life, thereby assuring that all will be well. Finally, all the remaining creatures stowed aboard the ark, including Noah and his family, venture forth into their newly restored world, one filled with hope and new beginnings, in trust that never again shall the earth be thus imperiled.

After the Deluge is a parable about continuity, rebirth after calamity, and the ultimate patience and resilience of our earth, our planet. 


Northwest Sinfonietta, under the direction of Principal Artistic Partner David Lockington, has commissioned a new work for chorus and chamber orchestra from composer Dalit Warshaw. Warshaw’s piece will be the capstone of a subscription concert titled Imagine—Peace at Play, which explores the concept of peace through the medium of music. With a variety of works spanning many centuries and cultures, the program will appeal to new audience members as well as long-time patrons, and is an opportunity for Northwest Sinfonietta to bring members of the community together around the idea of peace in an intentional and tangible way.

The Imagine—Peace at Play program alternates between choral and orchestral works; contemporary and beloved classical works. It will feature Brent Michael Davids’ Native American Suite, Lori Tennenhouse’s Iraqi Peace Song, an arrangement of John Lennon’s Imagine, Dalit Warshaw’s commissioned piece and selections from Copland’s The Tenderland, along with Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Bach’s Air, and Vaughan William’s Lark Ascending.

Dalit Warshaw’s commissioned work, currently titled Letter from Across the River, will be the centerpiece of Northwest Sinfonietta’s Imagine—Peace at Play program. Both a universally relevant and deeply personal work, Letter from Across the River tells a powerful story about displaced people and identity, and about the fierce passion for life that could flame the instinct for self-sacrifice in the name of love, devotion and loyalty. It is an inspirational tale about the power of choice and the ability to uphold one’s ideals—even in the most desperate of circumstances—in the name of hope for a future of peace, tolerance and acceptance. The language of the text will be mainly English, with some Hebrew and Polish.

Northwest Sinfonietta will present Imagine—Peace at Play with Dalit Warshaw’s commissioned work on May 16 and 17, 2020 as part of its subscription concert series. The performances will take place in the Rialto Theater in Tacoma, Washington (748 seats), and the Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup, Washington (400 seats).

Northwest Sinfonietta is the premier chamber orchestra of the Puget Sound area, and celebrates its 29th season next year. The orchestra will be conducted by Principal Artistic Partner David Lockington, who first envisioned the program, and will be joined by the award winning Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union, directed by Richard Nance. With composers Dalit Warshaw and Brent Michael Davids in residence for the week of the performance, Northwest Sinfonietta will have a unique opportunity to share the experiences of a female composer and a Native American composer with student groups, and will be opening up rehearsals for outreach opportunities.

As an arts organization, Northwest Sinfonietta knows first hand the powerful ability music has to unite people of all walks of life in a shared experience. Imagine—Peace at Play with Dalit Warshaw’s Letter from Across the River, will allow us the opportunity to share a specific and compelling musical vision for peace with our community.

Project Media

Conjuring Tristan for Piano and Orchestra (2015)
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Features: Dalit Warshaw

Dalit Warshaw, composer and pianist:

I call CONJURING TRISTAN a “narrative concerto for piano and orchestra.” It is based upon Thomas Mann’s novella “Tristan,” in which Mann’s familiar theme of the irreconcilable dichotomy between Life and Art is revisited through the character of Gabriele, a young mother and former pianist in treatment for consumption at the sanatorium of Einfried. A writer and fellow resident named Spinell reignites her artistic spirit and encourages her to play through Wagner’s opera “Tristan und Isolde.”

Hot Shop (2017)
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Heather Bentley – composer and violist:

This October the wonderful musicians of my orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta, recorded a piece I composed for last April’s “Art for Art’s Sake” program, under the direction of David Lockington. My piece, Hot Shop, (linked to Soundcloud) was inspired by the concert collaboration with the Tacoma Museum of Glass and reminiscences of my sons’ time learning how to blow glass in a very hot workshop.

Jake Runestad, Let My Love Be Heard (2014)
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This work sample shows collaborator PLU Choral Union performing Let My Love Be Heard, written by Jake Runestad (b. 1986). Let My Love Be Heard (2014) was co-commissioned by Seattle’s Choral Arts and the University
of Kansas City Conservatory of Music.

Start and End Dates



Tacoma/Puyallup, Washington

1 update
Last update on March 23, 2020

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Forest Hills, New York


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