Hymn to the Sun

for orchestra (2008)

Commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony
Premiere: Sun Valley Music Pavilion/Alasdair Neale, conductor, 2008
Duration 8:00 - - timp; 4 perc; pno; hp – str

"Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of the sky.
Thy rays, they encompass the lands…thou bindest them by thy love."
Ahknaton, Hymn to the Sun

This ancient Egyptian appeal to the deific sun was the inspiration for my orchestral concert-opener Hymn to the Sun.

I imagined a wild, sacred dance to call forth the sun and all its powers, and then the sudden and magnificent rising on the horizon.  The image of the sun’s rays binding all the lands is particularly moving to me in the context of today’s tense global climate.  During the time I composed this piece, I had the amazing fortune of witnessing the sun’s rising from the summit of Mount Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui, an experience Mark Twain described as the “sublimest spectacle” of his life.

The work was commissioned by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for the opening of its Music Pavilion and premiered on August 3, 2008 with Alasdair Neale conducting.  

−Kevin Puts