Daniel Variations is a 30-minute choral work based on texts from the Book of Daniel alongside Pearl's own words. Performing the piece in October will be a group of 20 musicians comprised of the Steve Reich Ensemble, Synergy Vocals and conductor Brad Lubman. The same lineup will perform the work in France and Portugal in November as part of global celebrations of Reich's 70th birthday.
The Daniel Pearl Commissioning Project, sponsored by a music-loving California lawyer who has chosen to remain anonymous, is part of Meet the Composer's New Music, New Donors initiative, which allows interested individuals or groups of patrons to commission works.
According to a statement from Meet the Composer, the Pearl project began when the lawyer read an article in The San Francisco Chronicle in 2004 describing MTC's efforts to revive individual commissioning. He then reportedly called the organization to discuss funding a series of new pieces in honor of the slain journalist.
Daniel Pearl was himself an accomplished violinist and mandolin player who played with classical, folk, bluegrass and jazz groups.
Daniel Variations is a co-commission with the Barbican Centre, Carnegie Hall Corporation, Cit_ de la Musique (Paris) and Casa da Musica Porto, in association with the Daniel Pearl Foundation.