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Anthony Davis and Quincy Troupe's Broken in Parts Premiered by Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

May. 31, 2024

Anthony Davis and Quincy Troupe's <em>Broken in Parts</em> Premiered by Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Louis Langrée led the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and soprano, Latonia Moore in the world premiere of Anthony Davis and Quincy Troupe's Broken in Parts at Music Hall on May 10. Additional performances followed on May 11 & 12.

Anthony Davis notes:

"I first got to know Quincy Troupe when we were both colleagues at the University of California, San Diego. He had just completed the autobiography of Miles Davis and he was a charismatic figure in San Diego. We collaborated on a number of projects together, including live performances featuring his poetry with my improvisations and compositions for piano. I still hear his voice, relentless, an avalanche of images and metaphors, barely taking a breath as the power of his language was surreal and dramatic, with a rhythm like Elvin Jones performing with John Coltrane. I set several of his poems to music, including “Bells” and “Sound, Breaking Away” both for bass-baritone and piano. On the evening after 9/11, my wife and I were invited for dinner at Quincy’s home. He was already feverishly writing an epic poem about the day entitled “9/11: Emergency Calls Coming into Manhattan." Later that week, Tim Koch from the Carolina Chamber Chorale called me about writing a piece about 9/11. I immediately thought of Quincy and his poem became the text for the first movement Blue and the third movement Things Will Never, Ever be the Same. His harrowing and courageous text for the piece allowed me to explore 9/11 from wildly different points of view. 

Broken in Parts is our most recent collaboration. The poem addresses the issues of language itself, the breakdown of communication and meaning. How do we reclaim our voice? Can our severed tongue be restored by summoning all our resources from the past, from our history, from the ancient and mystical. The poem presented many musical challenges. The images and metaphors, literally, never stop. There are no periods in the poem, every idea morphs into the next. I always came back to hearing Quincy’s voice, exploring a rhythmic language where the speech rhythms become more Thelonious Monk or Miles Davis with the jagged edge of syncopation and yet discovering how lyricism can peak through allowing the voice to soar. I am so excited to work with the wonderful soprano Latonia Moore who is one of the great singers today. She always brings passion and a searing beauty to everything she does. It is also an honor to work with Louis Langrée again. His performance during the pandemic of my clarinet concerto You Have the Right to Remain Silent with Anthony McGill and Earl Howard was a remarkable ray of light in a dark time."

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: II. Loss/Anthony Davis/Boston Modern Orchestra Project/
J.D. Parran, clarinet/Earl Howard, Kurzweil synthesizer/Gil Rose, conductor

To learn more about Anthony Davis, visit

Anthony Davis
Broken in Parts (2024)
for soprano and orchestra
words (Eng) by Quincy Troupe
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