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The New York Philharmonic, led by Dalia Stasevska, Perform Anthony Davis's You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Oct. 01, 2021

Dalia Stasevska leads the New York Philharmonic in performances of Anthony Davis's You Have the Right to Remain Silent on October 20-23  at Alice Tully Hall. Anthony McGill is the featured soloist.

The work and the work's title sprang from an experience the composer had while driving to Boston in the 1970s to play a gig. En route, Davis was stopped by a police officer. "He had switched on his siren and stopped my car," recalls Davis. "I was about to get out and ask him what's going on and explain that I didnt want to be late for my concert. But when my wife turned around and saw the officer approaching, she told me I'd better stay seated as he was already aiming his gun at me."

It later emerged that the police stop was a case of mistanken identity; Davis had been mistaken for a bank robber. Because the event was not an isolated incident and random targeting of people of color by police has been and continues to be the order of the day, Davis addressed the topic musically in 2010. At that moment, he could not have foreseen that ten years later the debate and discussions around racial profiling would peak under the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.

Davis's concerto is entitled You Have the Right to Remain Silent, the first line of the Miranda Warning delivered by a police officer before making an arrest. The composer's intent for the work was clear before writing the first note. Beginning with the lonely voice of the clarinet, which is  followed by an interrogation from the orchestra, Davis fathoms the emotional consequences of confrontations between police and civilians as the piece progresses. As clarinetist Anthony McGill notes, the work exhorts us to consider the question "what does it feel like to walk or dance in someone else's shoes" and probes important questions about connecting communities and the critical need to unite around common ideals despite our differences.

(Anthony McGill gives an overview of Anthony Davis's You Have the Right To Remain Silent)

To learn more about Anthony Davis, visit:

Anthony Davis
You Have the Right to Remain Silent (2011)
concerto for clarinet, Kurzweil synthesizer, and orchestra in four movements
   I Interrogation
   II Loss
   III Incarceration
   IV Dance of the Other
Solo Bb-clarinet, Contra-alto clarinet; drum set; II: vib, mar; 4timp[shared by I. & II.])-hp-str