Leonard Slatkin conducted the world premiere of Eyerly’s Arlington Sons with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh on three subscription performances (October 5, 6 and 7, 2012). Commissioned by Broadway and Metropolitan Opera star David Pittsinger, Arlington Sons is a unique 12-minute piece for baritone, boy soprano and orchestra. By turns moving and humorous, the work depicts a father and son visiting Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Arlington Sons was conceived specifically for the real-life father-son duo of David and Richard Pittsinger, and is believed to be the first vocal piece written for a father and son. Adding resonance to the themes of fatherhood, “sonhood” and patriotism, David’s own father was a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The Pittsburgh performances of Arlington Sons follow the work’s premiere in piano arrangement at a February gala for the Glimmerglass Festival in New York City, where Mssrs. Pittsinger were accompanied by Fred Lassen at the keyboard.
WFSB feature about the creation of Arlington Sons