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A Tempo: Library of Congress' 'Boccaccio Project' Commissions Reflect Life in Covid-19 Era

Photo by Laura Ise

When its own concert series was cancelled because of Coronavirus concerns, the Library of Congress sought to find ways to fulfill its mission of commissioning new works. Its music department reached out and commissioned solo works from 10 composers, and the short pieces were premiered via video and posted on its website. The initiative was named for Boccaccio's 14th-century work The Decameron, which centers on the stories told by 10 people who sought shelter from the plague by isolating themselves in the countryside. The Boccaccio Project yielded 10 works, premiered in June, covering a diverse range of styles as composers and peformers sought to capture the experience and feelings springing from quarantine and isolation. A Tempo host Rachel Katz this Saturday (7/25 at 7 pm) spotlights the project in conversations with David Plylar, senior music specialist and concert producer at the Library; composer Damien Sneed; and composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh and violinist Jannina Norpoth of the PUBLIQuartet.

Composer, recording artist and instrumentalist Damien Sneed
Composer Niloufar Nourbakhsh

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.
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