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10/06/2017

Louisville Orchestra Honors Muhammad Ali in World Premiere

LOUISVILLE, Ky., (Oct. 6, 2017) – Award-winning conductor Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra will present the world premiere of a new work spotlighting Louisville’s most famous native son.

“The Greatest: Muhammad Ali” is an immersive orchestral experience featuring music, poetry, narration and dance that’s anchored by Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra. It debuts Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Kentucky Center as part of the Brown-Forman LO Classics Series. 

The performance highlights Ali’s life and legacy. Abrams used Ali’s speeches and poems, which are set as raps with full orchestra. He also featured the words of others in the piece, including Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman and Amiri Baraka, along with political speeches by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

“It’s like a 21st century oratorio that looks at Muhammad Ali’s life and the things that we know and love about him, and the incredible and momentous issues that Ali confronted,” Abrams said. Three excerpts from the work were previewed at the orchestra’s Second Annual Festival of New American Music earlier this year. This will be the first time its performed in its entirety.

The performance also features several collaborators, including Jubilant Sykes (Grammy-nominated baritone); Olivia Dawson (award-winning actor, writer and director); Jecorey “1200” Arthur (Louisville hip hop artist and educator); and Rhiannon Giddens (front woman of the Grammy Award-winning African-American string band Carolina Chocolate Drops).

Tickets are on sale now and range from $27-$85. For more info, call (502) 584.7777 or visit www.louisvilleorchestra.org.

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Christa Ritchie

Christa Ritchie

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