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CFP 2020: Jeff Strong Performs Sonorous by Zola Saadi-Klein

Watch & Listen

When the pandemic hit, the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellows changed course from writing large chamber music projects to writing solo etudes for LA Phil musicians. Hear Sonorous by Zola Saadi-Klein performed by Jeff Strong.

Program notes

What comes to mind when I think of the trumpet is “I’m here.” It’s an instrument that wants to be heard, and it definitely has a resounding prominence when you listen to it in any ensemble, large or small. I knew I wanted to write something lyrical, which isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about the trumpet, but its fuller, rounder tones remind me of qualities related to the human voice, so I created a piece inspired by one of my favorite opera singers, Jessye Norman. Norman’s striking presence resonated with honesty and emotional clarity, and her unique speaking voice, as well as her singing voice, were as elegant and deep as the sounds of the trumpet. In writing this piece, I was imagining the musical line as if Jessye Norman were speaking (or singing) it. 

To learn more about the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program, go to