Charles Wuorinen’s diatribes are still as polemical as ever, but he brings a passion and conviction to all of his arguments, and his remarkably prolific six-decade output as a composer is artistically and intellectually rich as well as often entertaining.
Marin Alsop: A New Perspective
An American conductor makes a persuasive case for having a new perspective, exploring American music and contemporary music, and getting audiences interested in a broad range of ideas.
It’s hard to imagine two ensembles as different as eighth blackbird and ICE. But both formed at Oberlin, both are devoted exclusively to new music, and both are really successful at it.
From virtual orchestras and polymicrotonality to pioneering ambient music and switching on Bach, Wendy Carlos has created several musical worlds.
What’s it like to launch a career with Philip Glass, John Adams, and Björk cheering you on? Nico Muhly is a composer on fire.
Annie Gosfield creates surreal music that frequently uses technology to channel older, sometimes broken, or forgotten things.
Whether Michael Daugherty’s music is channelling Elvis, Rosa Parks, Liberace, or Georgia O’Keeffe, it is extremely physical and fun to play.
Off the Charts: Big Band Circa 2006
One of the most surprising developments in recent years has been the resurgence of the big band as the medium of choice for a wide variety of up-and-coming musicians, including Darcy James Argue, Sherisse Rogers, and Charles Waters.
From electronics to Romanceros, Mario Davidovsky is not an adherent of any system, although his music is respectful of cultural traditions that go back millennia.
Elliott Sharp’s music continues to defy expectations; this is part of what makes it so exciting to listen to.