Memorable outdoor premieres you’ve heard and/or your most unusual exposure to a new piece of music Michael Torke, Composer

Michael Torke
Photo by Vivianne Purdom, courtesy Decca

I remember a concert at the Tanglewood Music Center that had both David Del Tredici’s “Happy Voices” (from Child Alice) and John Adams’s Harmonielehre on the same program! This was the summer of 1984, fresh after Paul Fromm made public his criticisms of the ’70s kind of thorny programming and caused swift changes in the directorship of the festival. The aggressive tonality of both these composers impressed me- a new decade was upon us, and the American professional composer was emerging as a powerful cultural force, like it used to be in the ’30s and ’40s.