Like most composers, I’ve done the summer festival dance for a while now. Every music festival is different, but there’s one thing I’ve learned: It’s a bit weird to be a composer at any of them. It’s a brand-new experience to come to a festival where composers are the center of attention.
This fall will be an exceptional time for San Francisco Bay Area musicians of all stripes who are interested in making music with a large community of fellow new music lovers. Two massive projects—Lisa Bielawa’s Crissy Broadcast and Rhys Chatham’s A Secret Rose—will be rehearsed and performed.
Sierra’s style is definitely more modernist than maverick, but her accent is a little more subtle and elusive. The music is dense, dissonant, precipitously fluid, but there’s a groundedness to the extravagance, pitch and even tonal centers anchoring the busy crosstalk.
Austin Chamber Music Center has been around for decades—long enough to have existed when the governor was a Democrat, SXSW was a baby, and Austin was just a gleam in marketers’ eyes. Its summer festival is more recent, and the inclusion and promotion of new music even more so.
American operas, apparently, can have the second acts American lives cannot. The concert performance, at Tanglewood on July 11, of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby—after the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who famously hypothesized that particular limitation of biographical dramaturgy—was a bid for redemption.
Each year, the Guildhall Leadership course accepts a handful of students from all over the world. The course asks them to improvise, compose, teach, and collaborate with each other and with London artists from many other disciplines. They generate new work, embark on research projects, and actively facilitate creative music-making in London communities that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.
A work six years in development with a libretto written by the composer, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is an earnestly personal and thoroughly researched re-examination of the role of the main women in Jesus’s life, as well as an attempt to understand Jesus and his disciple Peter as flawed human beings.
Since the The Police disbanded in the mid-1980s, drummer Stewart Copeland has composed soundtracks for numerous films and television shows and has had works performed by such acclaimed ensembles as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra.
For two weeks in June, Chicago composer Mischa Zupko did something that composers don’t often have the opportunity to do: he toured with an orchestra. Camerata Chicago traveled to the Czech Republic, France, and Italy and gave five performances of Zupko’s new Chamber Symphony: Pilatus.
From the outset, June in Buffalo 2013 demonstrated that a composition doesn’t communicate in a vacuum, but instead often reveals its vitality while in dialogue with other works.