con gai: a greeting & a farewell


con gai: a greeting & a farewell


a haiku for orchestra (2010)

  • Premiere: 14 October 2010 / Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA / Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Gerard Schwarz
  • Instrumentation: 2.2(II=CA).2.2-
  • Duration: 4'
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Gerard Schwarz and Daron Hagen

Gerard Schwarz and Daron Hagen

Program note

Con Gai means "daughter" in Vietnamese. The melodic motive this fanfare is built upon (first heard in the trumpets) is sung to these words in my opera Amelia by an American Navy pilot.

Commissioned by Seattle Opera and premiered in May 2010, the opera explores the themes of love and loss through the prism of one American military family’s experience in Vietnam during the 1960s.

Based on a two minute musical interlude composed during the opera's premiere production, this fanfare explores the feelings of loss the father feels when he realizes that he'll never see his daughter again. It is also a salute to the new baby that his daughter is about to deliver.

The piece is subtitled "(a greeting and farewell)" because it celebrates both the beginning of my artistic collaboration with Gerard Schwarz (he conducted the debut of Amelia) but also his farewell to the SSO.

The work is a Gund / Simoniyi Commission for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra celebrating Maestro Schwarz's farewell season as Music Director, 2010-2011.

— Daron Hagen, 2010