New England Philharmonic and Chorus pro Musica Take on Britten’s Rarely Performed Spring Symphony on March 1.

New England Philharmonic LogoThe New England Philharmonic (NEP) under the direction of Richard Pittman will present “Spring Awakening” on March 1 at 4 p.m. at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. The concert features Benjamin Britten’s rarely performed Spring Symphony and celebrates the arrival of spring after a long English winter, vocalizing the settings of poems from Edmund Spenser to W.H. Auden for a splendid array of voices and instruments.

The Spring Symphony, originally commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 1949, is in Britten’s words, “a symphony not only dealing with the spring itself, but with the progress of winter to spring and the reawakening of the earth and life which that means.”

The piece is a large undertaking, requiring a huge orchestra (complete with a cow horn that has to be hired specially), a children’s choir, three soloists, and a large chorus, which will be given challenging and detailed music to sing. The NEP will enlist the Boston Children’s Chorus and Chorus pro Musica for the performance and will feature Soprano Sarah PelletierMezzo Soprano Krista River and Tenor Ray Bauwens.

John Harbison’s Darkbloom: Overture for an Imagined Opera, also on the program, is a balletic story of a man and a woman, echoed by the scenario of the evening’s other piece, Aaron Copland’s beloved American ballet Appalachian Spring.

Tickets for the NEP’s “Spring Awakening” concert on March 1, 2015 at 4 p.m. at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium are available at www.NEPhilharmonic.org.