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THE MAGAZINE OF
THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
Yes, Itâ€™s an Orchestra How video Concert games and film are changing audience expectations for pops programs
Orchestras, Ford, and the UAW Program Notes: From Tomes to Tweets Orchestras Explore Difficult Chapters in U.S. History European Orchestras Face the Financial Crisis
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he global financial crisis continues to take its toll. Greece is in dire shape, Spain has 25 percent unemployment, and the situation in the U.S., though stable, has not gotten back to pre-recession levels. Orchestras have not been exempt. In Europe, where government support for the arts was consistent at levels unimaginable here, governments are cutting back across the board. (A story in this issue reports on the changing European scene.) In the U.S., several orchestras are facing stark financial realities that may require rethinking, restructuring, renewal. At the same time, hundreds of U.S. orchestras are doing well, either by sticking to tried-and-true methods and programs or by experimenting with innovative business models and novel programming. This fall, a large number of orchestras are in the midst of contract negotiations with musicians. Though negotiations are ongoing, at this writing season openings are delayed in Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul. In this issue, you’ll find excerpts from a talk between representatives from management and the union at Ford Motor Company. The company was losing billions and labor relations seemed intractable, yet a radical reimagining of roles on both sides resulted in financial stability. What might orchestras take from the example of Ford? The 24-hour news cycle keeps raising expectations for instant reporting of the latest news. Deadlines for printing and shipping this quarterly magazine mean that we look at the big picture rather than report on the news as it happens. For the latest updates about orchestras, including the ones currently in contract negotiations, check out The Hub at americanorchestras.org. It’s updated every day. Visit SymphonyNOW.org for more reflective thinking about timely topics.
THE MAGAZINE OF THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
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THE MAGAZINE OF THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS
2 Prelude by Robert Sandla 6 The Score Orchestra news, moves, and events 14 Critical Questions Arts education is vital to a well-rounded education—and to orchestras. by Jesse Rosen and Heather Noonan 18 At the League Excerpts from the League’s Music Director Search Handbook. by Roger Saydack
22 Conference Follow-Up Can successful labor negotiations at Ford Motor Company suggest possibilities for orchestras? by Marty Mulloy and Jimmy Settles Jr.
History Lessons People and events in American history continue to inspire new orchestral works. by Chester Lane
Sonic Circuits Orchestral music from video games and films is redefining pops concerts. by Dan Visconti
Local Talent Orchestra musicians who compose add artistic depth to their ensembles—and a unique perspective. by Ian VanderMeulen
Continental Shift In the wake of the financial crisis, are European orchestras becoming more like our own? by A.J. Goldmann
From Tomes to Tweets The changing face of program notes. by Heidi Waleson 43 2012 Guide to Symphony Pops Advertisers 69 Advertiser Index 78 League of American Orchestras Annual Fund
80 Coda Choreographer Mark Morris on his forays into conducting. about the cover Throughout this issue, text marked like this indicates a link to websites and online resources that can be accessed by visiting SymphonyOnline at symphony.org.
70 Special Section: Marvin Hamlisch Tribute
Video Games Live, performed by Petrobras Symphony Orchestra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, wins a big reaction. Emmanuel Frattiani conducted the concert at Claro Concert Hall. Cover photo: Fabio Santana
SCORE News, moves, and events in the orchestra industry
The opening of this concert season was marked by an unusually large number of contract negotiations, with orchestras in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and San Antonio all engaged in—or set for—talks with their musicians’ unions. Negotiations were ongoing and details still emerging at press time, but long-term financial and structural issues were evidently at the root of management calls for significant concessions from players, while musicians voiced concerns about maintaining artistic standards of the ensemble itself. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians’ contract was the first to expire, on August 25. The day before, musicians had offered to take $2 million in pay cuts over two years—totalling $4 million—as long as upper-level management agreed to equal cuts. Management countered that this was not enough to address the organization’s $20 million overall debt, and on August 31, the Woodruff Center locked musicians out of the hall. Meanwhile, management of the
Indianapolis Symphony proposed a roster of 69 for a 38-week (as opposed to 52-week) season, stating that, while the terms of the contract that expired September 2 mandates a minimum of 82 musicians, most concerts require only 61-69. Musicians made a counterproposal for a two-month contract extension at reduced pay but management stated that would exacerbate the financial situation, and the first two concert weekends of the season were canceled. And the San Antonio Symphony, which had not, as of press time, sat down with musicians, faces a $850,000 debt, with the National Labor Relations Board set to rule on a musician complaint that the organization owes them an additional $225,000. In the Twin Cities, musician contracts at the Minnesota Orchestra (pictured above) and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (below) expired October 1 and September 30 respectively. The Minnesota Orchestra was seeking a 28 percent pay cut from musicians to help offset yearly multimillion dollar deficits the organization has been covering with endowment funds. Saint Paul musicians characterized proposed cuts as turning the orchestra into a part-time operation. In quieter fashion, the Cleveland Orchestra musicians, whose contract expired August 31, continued to play under the terms of a deal signed in 2010. Further negotiations were planned for after the orchestra’s European tour August 21–September 2. The Seattle Symphony, whose musicians’ contract
also expired August 31, had not made an announcement as of press time. Meanwhile, the Detroit Symphony and Louisville Orchestra—both of which saw concert cancellations due to contract disagreements—seem to be back on their feet. Over the summer the DSO reached a deal with banks holding its $54 million debt for Orchestra Hall, and has reported musician hirings despite the 23 percent pay cut under the new contract. Louisville Orchestra is playing under a temporary one-year contract, while musicians, management, and outside consultant Peter Pastreich hammer out a longer-term deal. These contract negotiations are all ongoing. For the most up-to-date reports, visit The Hub at hub.americanorchestras.org.
Orchestra Aids Wildfire Victims Casey Bradley Gent/Colorado Springs Independent
Nathan Newbrough (left), president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, with Rajeev Shaw, assistant to the president of community relations at Focus on the Family, one of the Philharmonic’s primary partners in its Wildfire Relief Benefit.
When deadly wildfires swept through the Pikes Peak region of Colorado in late June, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic stepped in to help with a special benefit for victims of the Waldo Canyon Fire. The July 4 concert, titled “A Community Rises” and featuring local artists the Flying W Wranglers, Michael Martin Murphey, and Flash Cadillac, was broadcast on several local radio stations, raising $288,807 in three hours for the Waldo Canyon Victims Assistance Fund. Donations eventually reached $580,990. symphony
MUSICAL CHAIRS The New World Symphony has appointed AYDEN ADLER dean and senior vice president of musician advancement. has been appointed manager of marketing and public relations for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. ARLEIGH J. ALDRICH
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Peabody Institute have selected ALEXANDRA ARRIECHE for the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship. has been named executive director of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. RACHEL BAILEY
At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, JOSEPH BECKER has been named principal percussion, and DAVID BUCK principal flute. The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes (Corning, N.Y.) has appointed HEIDI BERGHOFF general manager. has been named vice president of philanthropy at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. MICHAEL BLIMES
JUSTIN BROWN , who
stepped down as music director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra at the end of last season, has assumed the title music director laureate as the orchestra conducts a search for his successor.
Frank conversations about labor relations, innovation, and community engagement took center stage at the League of American Orchestras’ 67th National Conference, June 5-8 in Dallas. Hosted by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Conference drew nearly 1,000 professionals and volunteers from orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad, for seminars that tackled tough issues, thoughtful discussions, panels that examined provocative topics—and lots of music, with concerts by the Dallas Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Calling on delegates to “put the interests of our orchestras ahead of any single constituent interest,” League President and CEO Jesse Rosen introduced openingsession speakers Jimmy Settles Jr. of the United Auto Workers and Marty Mulloy of the Ford Motor Company, who described how they built a relationship that led to an innovative collaborative process and a landmark labor agreement. (Highlights from that session start on page 22.) The next day, the two speakers were joined by Bruce Ridge, chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians; Carla Lehmeier-Tatum, president of the Regional Orchestra Players Association; Robert Levine, president of Milwaukee Local 8, American Federation of Musicians and principal viola of the Milwaukee Symphony; Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera; and Brent Assink, executive director of the San Francisco Symphony, for a discussion of the lessons of the Ford/UAW experience, and what they might suggest for orchestras.
In other keynotes, innovation expert Jeff deGraff challenged delegates to take big risks; Assink reflected on innovation; and Carnegie Hall Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson encouraged orchestras to find new ways of serving their communities. The “Inventing the Future” session featured young leaders exploring today’s imperative for musicians and orchestras to combine artistic identity and civic responsibility. In “Orchestras Ascending,” the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Phoenix Symphony described how they met severe challenges and are now rebuilding.
The McLean (Va.) Orchestra has appointed MIRIAM BURNS music director. Jayson Kindig
From top to bottom: League President and CEO Jesse Rosen at the 2012 National Conference; the Volunteer Council; League Board Chair Lowell Noteboom (second from left) with Orchestra Management Fellows Ian Harwood, Agnieszka Rakhmatullaev, and Agnieszka (Eska) Laskus.
The Gold Baton, given since 1948 for distinguished service to America’s orchestras, was presented to philanthropist Helen J. DeVos, who is an honorary member of the board of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the League. The Helen M. Thompson Award was presented to Mei-Ann Chen, music director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Sinfonietta, in recognition of her achievements at both orchestras. Twenty-four American orchestras were honored with 2011-12 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming for programs that challenge audiences, build repertoire, and increase interest in music of our time. Nine outstanding orchestra volunteer projects received Gold Book Online awards of excellence from the League’s Volunteer Council. Conference Resources Toolkits, video, audio, and additional resources from multiple sessions at the League’s 2012 National Conference are available at www.americanorchestras.org/ conference_2012.
At the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, TATIANA COPELAND has been named to a one-year term as board chair, and DIANA MILBURN promoted to general manager.
has been appointed vice president of development for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops. JENNIFER A. DAMIANO
The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (Park Forest, Ill.) has named DAVID DANZMAYR music director.
Australia’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has appointed ANDREW DAVIS chief conductor, and DIEGO MATHEUZ principal guest conductor. Both appointments take effect in 2013. Symphony Orchestra Augusta in Georgia has appointed MIEKO DI SANO executive director.
has been named executive director of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. LINDA EDELSTEIN
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors has elected MICHAEL A. EDWARDS chair. MATTHEW ERNST has been named principal trumpet, and MICHAEL LAUBACH principal timpani, at
the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Pasadena Symphony and POPS has selected singer/ pianist MICHAEL FEINSTEIN as principal pops conductor; he assumes the Marvin Hamlisch Chair. has been named music director of Boston’s Longwood Symphony Orchestra. RONALD FELDMAN
The West Australian Symphony Orchestra has appointed ASHER FISCH principal conductor, effective in 2014.
Florida Orchestra Principal Librarian ELLA FREDERICKSON has been named president of the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association. has been appointed director of development at Astral Artists. HEATHER S. GIAMPAPA
The Greenville (S.C.) Symphony Orchestra has named LINDA GRANDY development director. has been appointed managing director of Australia’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. ANDRÉ GREMILLET
The Hartford (Conn.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed CARRIE HAM- Gremillet MOND president and CEO; APRIL M. PATERNO has been named director of development, and TRACY WU FASTENBERG director of individual giving. has been elected board chair of the Mobile (Ala.) Symphony Orchestra. JIMMIE HATCHER
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah, N.Y.) has appointed JEFFREY P. HAYDON chief executive officer. The Boulder (Colo.) Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors has elected KYLE HECKMAN to a threeyear term as president. PAUL HELFRICH , former
president of Ohio’s Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, has been named president and CEO of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, established July 1, 2012 through the merger of Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and Dayton Philharmonic. Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra has announced the appointment of ANDREA HOSSACK as communications officer. The Mansfield (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra has appointed THOMAS HONG music director.
has been appointed youth orchestra manager and education programs coordinator at the St. Louis Symphony. JESSICA INGRAHAM
Illinois’s Sangamon Valley Youth Orchestra has appointed AARON KAPLAN music director.
has been named vice president for sales and marketing at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. J. PHILIP KOESTER
The Erie (Pa.) Chamber Orchestra has appointed MATTHEW KRAEMER music director.
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has named CATHERINE OGDEN LEVIN vice president of marketing and external affairs. has been named artistic advisor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. ANDREW LITTON
The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra has appointed THOM MARINER executive director.
has been appointed music director of the New West Symphony (Thousand Oaks, Cal.). KARL KLESSIG has been elected board president. MARCELO LEHNINGER
Scenes from far-flung summer tours (top to bottom): San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, and Empire State Youth Orchestra
has stepped down as executive director of California’s Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. ROBERT C. JONES
has been elected chair of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees. HARLEY E. FLACK
Empire State Youth Orchestra
Summer gives youth orchestras a taste of the touring lifestyle, and 2012 saw the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Empire State Youth Orchestra exploring Europe and Asia. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra spent nine days in central Europe, where Music Director James Feddeck led the group in works such as Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and Elgar’s Enigma Variations in iconic venues in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra embarked on a six-performance tour of Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg—including a debut at the Philharmonie, home of the Berlin Philharmonic. Conducted by Music Director Donato Cabrera (pictured in top photo), SFYS’s tour repertoire included Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor with pianist Lars Vogt, as well as John Adams’s Shaker Loops. Halfway around the globe, the Empire State Youth Orchestra, based in Schenectady, New York, played concerts in Beijing and Shanghai and participated in a festival of youth orchestras at the Sungnam Arts Center in Seoul under Music Director Helen Cha-Pyo. Empire State musicians also performed for U.S. troops stationed in South Korea and focused on humanitarian efforts,, playing for and meeting leprosy survivors on South Korea’s Sorok Island.
Youth Orchestras on the Road
Bollywood movies, with their emphasis on flash and melodrama, may seem the antithesis to the more restrained artistry of classical music. But in May, the two genres merged at the Detroit Opera House for the Michigan Philharmonic’s “Bollywood in the D,” a cross-cultural collaboration funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. During the two-day event, Indian singers and percussionists, keyboardists, bass guitarists, and sitarists joined 30 musicians from the Plymouthbased orchestra and Music Director Nan Washburn in transforming Bollywood medleys into orchestral music. Accompanying AmericanIndian producer and director Narenda Sheth’s original compositions were clips from Bollywood movies such as Kohinoor. Sheth, who hosts the Michigan-based radio show Geetmala, says his goal for the project was to promote conversation between cultures Members of the Michigan Philharmonic with singers, percussionists, guitarists, and sitarists during the two-day in the Detroit area. “Bollywood in the D” festival in May.
L. Neil Williams 1936-2012
At the Austin Symphony Orchestra, THOMAS M. NEVILLE has been elected board president. He succeeds JOE R. LONG , who had served as president since 1996 and is now chairman of the board. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has named MARK NIEHAUS president and executive director. has been elected president of the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra Association. PAKSY PLACKIS-CHENG
he League of American Orchestras notes with great sadness the passing of L. Neil Williams, a longtime champion of the arts and the League. Williams died of a heart attack on August 26, 2012. Williams was a member of the League’s board of directors during the 1990s and served with distinction as board chair for five years. He was on the board of directors of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for many years and was its chairman from 1987-90. From 2002-08 he served as chairman of the board of trustees of Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center. Williams balanced a successful career as a lawyer with lifelong support of the arts and education. After earning a bachelor of arts in history from Duke University and a J.D. degree from Duke Law School, he began a 38-year legal career with Atlanta’s Alston & Bird LLP. Upon retiring from Alston & Bird, Williams became general counsel at Invesco, and served as a director at several corporations. In January 2011, he became the chair of the Duke Endowment, the charitable organization connected to Duke University. Williams and his wife, Sue, sang in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus under Robert Shaw. “He was a musician by training,” Fred Williams said of his father. “Though he chose law as a career, he was still very connected to music and higher education.” “Neil Williams was passionate about orchestras and education,” says League President and CEO Jesse Rosen, “and his passing is a great loss for everyone who cares about the arts. Neil’s support for the arts took him from the Atlanta Symphony to North Carolina’s Duke University to Washington, D.C., where he brought his formidable legal mind and generous instincts to the League’s board. His leadership abilities and generosity helped the League—as well as orchestras nationwide. He will be greatly missed.”
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will succeed MARKAND THAKAR as music director of the Duluth Superior (Minn.) Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 2013-14 season. DIRK MEYER
Courtesy Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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The Boston Symphony Orchestra has named ANDRIS POGA to a two-year term as assistant conductor. The Midland (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed BOHUSLAV RATTAY music director; he has stepped down as artistic director of the Muncie (Ind.) Symphony Orchestra. has been named principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; he has stepped down as principal pops conductor of the Modesto (Cal.) Symphony Orchestra. STEVEN REINEKE
has stepped down as executive director of the Albany (N.Y.) Symphony Orchestra BRIAN RITTER
Wisconsin’s Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra has appointed MARY SCHALLHORN managing director. has been named conductor of North Dakota’s Minot Symphony Orchestra.
SILENT MOVIES WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA ARE COMING BACK! Rick Friend Pianist - Composer www.silent-music.com
The Vancouver (Wash.) Symphony Orchestra has appointed IGOR SHAKHMAN executive director. has been named executive director of the DC Youth Orchestra in Washington, D.C. JOSHUA SIMONDS
The St. Cloud (Minn.) Symphony Orchestra has named CLINTON SMITH artistic director and principal conductor. Aspen Music Festival and School has appointed DANIEL SONG vice president and general manager. has been named executive vice president of development at the Oregon Symphony. DIANE SYRCLE
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has appointed ISAAC THOMPSON artistic administrator. has been appointed principal pops conductor of the Florida Orchestra. STEFAN SANDERLING will step down as music director at the end of the 2013-14 season. JEFF TYZIK
The Johnstown (Pa.) Symphony Orchestra has named BROOKE WELSH executive director. Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School has appointed WAYNE WILKINS director of marketing and communications. has been named music director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, based in Springfield and Bloomington, Ill. ALASTAIR WILLIS
The Fresno (Cal.) Philharmonic has appointed STEPHEN WILSON executive director. has been appointed executive director of the Alexandria (Va.) Symphony Orchestra. JESSICA WISSER
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PROGRAM NOTES Informative and entertaining, with accessible discussion of the music itself, as well as lively historical and cultural background information. Program book editing and layout Special program book articles Understandable musical analysis Text translation 24-hour turnaround on rush jobs Notes for chamber ensembles Audio examples for web sites See samples at:
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Work by Jaume Plensa (left) and Louise Bourgeois (below) in Des Moines’s Pappajohn Sculpture Park are captured by the Des Moines Symphony in a commissioned score.
CoMeDy Sculpted Sounds
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What would the new orchestra season be without another Elliott Carter premiere? The composer (right), who turns 104 in December, continues writing: his new piece, Instances, set for a February debut by Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony, is just one of many first performances happening across the continent during the 2012-13 season. Symphony’s annual premieres listing—which this year spotlights 122 world, 27 U.S., and 11 Canadian premieres—is a testament to the ongoing artistic vitality of North American orchestras, and a valuable resource for local and national press. To view the full list, visit the Symphony section of americanorchestras.org and click “Premieres Listings.”
Cameron Campbell/Integrated Studios
Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony is an unusual pops evening that begins with a hilarious parody of a classical concert (Dan as The Classical Clown) and ends with two restored Chaplin classics from 1917, with brilliant contemporary scores by Grant Cooper. Two full hours of comedy and music.
Breathing Room Finding affordable space in New York City for rehearsals, auditions, and behind-the-scenes work is a challenge for arts groups. In response, OPERA America—the national service organization for opera in the U.S.—has created the National Opera Center, which occupies two floors of an old fur-factory building in the garment district. Opened in September, the center houses studios, a score library, an artist lounge, a boardroom, rehearsal spaces, a recital hall, OPERA America’s administrative offices, a recording studio, and HD cameras for live-streaming performances. OPERA America’s member companies can rent the space—as can Audition/recital hall at the singers, musicians, and new National Opera Center in Manhattan other arts nonprofits. The opening comes eighteen months after the opening of the nearby DiMenna Center for Classical Music, operated by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which offers affordable rehearsal and recording space for musicians and orchestras. Patricia Kiernan Johnson
— satisfied West Virginia Symphony patron
“A magical evening...unforgettable... THE BEST SHOW!!!!”
Who says a composer’s intentions are not “set in stone”? The Des Moines Symphony opened its 75thanniversary season September 29 and 30 with the world premiere of a newly commissioned piece by Twin Cities-based composer Steve Heitzeg, led by Music Director Joseph Giunta. The work, titled Symphony in Sculpture, was inspired by contemporary artworks in Des Moines’s Pappajohn Sculpture Park; photos of the artworks were projected over the stage during the performances. John and Mary Pappajohn, for whom the park is named, commissioned the new piece as part of the orchestra’s Music From the Heartland project.
Santa Rosa This fall the Santa Rosa Symphony moved Symphony’s into the brand-new Donald & Maureen new home: Green Music Center at Sonoma State Joan & Sanford University—just in time for the orchestra’s I. Weill Hall in the Donald & 85th year. For its September 30 inaugural Maureen Green concert as the center’s resident orchestra, Music Center at all three of the orchestra’s living conductors Sonoma State were on hand: Conductor Emeritus Corrick University Brown, Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, and current Music Director Bruno Ferrandis. The orchestra performed a piece commissioned for the occasion: Sonoma Overture by Nolan Gasser of nearby Petaluma. The opening concert took place in the 1,400-seat Joan & Sanford I. Weill Hall, designed by William Rawn and Larry Kirkegaard—the architect and acoustician responsible for Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall—and theater consultant Len Auerbach. The new center will also host soloists, ensembles, and guest orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony. For fuller coverage of Santa Rosa’s opening weekend at the Green Music Center, visit SymphonyNOW. In other concert-hall news, on October 20 the Las Vegas Philharmonic opens its first full season at the new Smith Center for the Performing Arts, with Music Director David Itkin leading Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Fort Worth Symphony at 100 The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra first took the stage in May 1912, and on May 5 of this year it celebrated its 100th anniversary with a birthday party and concert at Bass Performance Hall. The centennial season got underway in August with a two-concert American Festival—repertoire ranging from Bernstein, Barber, Harris, and Copland to Philip Glass, Duke Ellington, and George Walker. Season highlights include the May 2013 world premiere of Jimmy López’s Perú Negro; a February 2013 gala featuring violin showpieces performed by Concertmaster Michael Shih and Associate Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Music Concertmaster Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya onstage with Swang Lin; and the orchestra at its centennial birthday party, works by former May 5, 2012 FWSO composersin-residence Peter Boyer, Gabriela Lena Frank, John B. Hedges, Jennifer Higdon, Kevin Puts, and Behzad Ranjbaran.
WHere are tHe neW ComPoSerS?
the reins from David Hyslop, who had served as the DSO’s interim president and CEO since May 2011. Before assuming his Charlotte post in 2008, Martin spent nine years as general manager of the Cleveland Orchestra. From 1995 to 1999 he was executive director of the Spokane Symphony, having begun his career at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a variety of positions over a period of fourteen years. A native of Atlanta, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Georgia State University. Blaine L. Nelson, chairman of the DSO Board of Governors, said Martin “will be instrumental in securing for the DSO its long-term stability and sustainability.”
right here! – The New York Times
DaviD Hertzberg composer-in-residence 2012-2014
benjamin C. S. boyle Daniel Kellogg CHriS rogerSon young c o n c e rt a rt i s t s The Future of Music a non-profit organization (212) 307-6657 email@example.com www.yca.org
Richard W. Rodriguez
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra begins the 2012-13 season with a new president and CEO, Jonathan Martin. An experienced orchestra leader who recently completed four years as executive director of North Carolina’s Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, he takes
Martin Debuts as Dallas CEO
An eclectic brew of performance activities is on tap at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art this season, the first to
be programmed by Limor Tomer, the Met’s new general manager for concerts and lectures. A season-long residency by Paul D. Miller—the composer, DJ, multimedia artist, and writer aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid—will connect music and art in realms ranging from the Civil War to 3D photography to environmental activism. Other season highlights include composer Tan Dun’s adaptation of the Chinese opera Peony Pavilion in the Met’s Astor Court;
a Beethoven cycle by the Endellion String Quartet accompanied by talks on that composer’s role in the rise of the Romantic Era; the fourth season of CONTACT!, a new-music series presented in conjunction with the New York Philharmonic; and four concerts by New York’s conductorless Salomé Chamber Orchestra (pictured left) performed on Stradivari, del Gesù, and Amati violins from the Met’s Sau Wing Lam Collection.
Van Cliburn Foundation Turns 50
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Joyce Yang performs in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, June 2005.
Van Cliburn Foundation/Rodger Mallison
AROUND THE WORLD ON 88 KEYS
For those old enough to remember a youthful Van Cliburn returning home A young from the Soviet Van Cliburn Union to a tickerperforms. tape parade after winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, it may seem hard to believe that the Van Cliburn Foundation is marking its 50th anniversary this year. On September 28, PBS aired The Cliburn: 50 Years of Gold, a 60-minute documentary commemorating the anniversary. Among recent events marking Cliburn’s 50th year were the launch of a new website in July; a free concert in January with 2009 silver medalist Yeol Eum Son, featuring works commissioned by the Cliburn Competition; and a 50th Anniversary Gold Medalists Concert and Celebration on September 6. Planned for spring of 2013 is the publication of a commemorative book, The Cliburn: The First Fifty Years. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition— first held in 1962 and created by Fort Worth-area teachers in honor of Cliburn, a Texas native—takes place every four years, with the next one scheduled for 2013 in Fort Worth.
“Enough” is Not Enough Arts education is vital to a well-rounded education— and to the future of orchestras. by Jesse Rosen and Heather Noonan
fter a ten-year wait, the U.S. Department of Education released data this past spring that paints an incomplete but dismaying picture of the status of arts education in our nation’s schools. Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 19992000 and 2009-10, available from the U.S. Department of Education’s website, shows that many of our nation’s students are still being shortchanged by our educational system, even though the arts are defined as a core academic subject in federal law. The topline figures initially released may have sounded rosy enough to woo some into complacency. More than 90 percent of elementary and secondary schools, the report said, offer some form of music education to their students. This percentage appeared relatively unchanged from what was reported prior to the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, which has been widely described by teachers, administrators, and local newspapers as squeezing the arts out of the curriculum in favor of reading and math. So do the encouraging results mean that the negative reports from local schools and communities are overstated, or even false? Could our students—by and large—be getting “enough” music education? The full results of the report tell another story: a story alarming enough to prompt U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to declare it “an equity issue and a civil rights issue,” and to conclude that “A well-rounded education is simply too vital
League President and CEO Jesse Rosen
League Vice President for Advocacy Heather Noonan
to our students’ success to let the teaching of the arts and humanities erode.” Consider two key points:
National Endowment for the Arts underscores the significant gains associated with high levels of arts exposure for youth of lower socioeconomic status. According to the NEA report, The Arts and Achieve-
• Only 15 percent of elementary schools offered music instruction at least three times per week. The report does not include precise measures of the quality of instruction. • The percentage of schools offering music education declines as the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch increases. In other words, schools with a higher concentration of students in poverty were less likely to offer music education. Likewise, among elementary schools offering music education, the presence of music specialists declines as the school’s poverty rate increases. This is sobering news. And it comes just as a separate new report from the
Two recent reports combined tell us that the students who have the most to gain from an arts education have the least access to arts learning. ment in At-Risk Youth—in which James S. Catterall analyzed four separate longitudinal studies—at-risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement than at-risk students who do not. The two reports combined tell us that the students who have the most to gain from an arts education have the least access to arts learning. symphony
It is clear that there are critical equity gaps that must be addressed if all students are to have a complete education. And orchestras must be in the chorus of civic organizations that say “enough” is not enough. The effects of inadequate arts education on the future of orchestras are made abundantly clear in another report, Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation by Nick Rabkin, published by the NEA in February 2011. Rabkin’s analysis drew some powerful conclusions from the findings of the 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Among them were these: • More arts education predicts more arts attendance. • Arts education has similar effects on other forms of arts participation: personal art-making, participation in the arts through media, and additional arts education. • Children of parents who had arts education or who attended arts events are more likely to take private arts classes or lessons and more likely to attend arts events themselves. • Arts education has a more powerful effect on arts attendance than any other measurable factor. So, if orchestras are truly committed to diversifying their audiences and bringing orchestral performances to a broader cross-section of their community, our very best hope likely rests in working to ensure that a complete arts education is available to all students. Orchestra Involvement
The good news is that adult and youth orchestra education programs have been growing in strength and impact. Across the country there are strong examples of orchestra programs that exhibit a depth of engagement, produce real and enduring standards-based learning for students, and are taught by highly qualified and seaamericanorchestras.org
soned teaching artists in partnership with in-school music educators. The LA Phil’s YOLA Project; the Chicago Symphony’s Institute for Learning, Access, and Training; and the San Diego Youth Symphony’s Community Opus Project are just a few programs that engage students in deep music education programs while also exhibiting a commitment to strengthening the systemic presence of music education in public schools. We have also seen new strategies in advocacy for in-school music instruction. Just as orchestras are recognizing the value of community partnerships in developing
If orchestras are truly committed to diversifying audiences and bringing performances to a broader cross-section of their community, our best hope likely rests in ensuring that a complete arts education is available to all students. education programs that are responsive to local needs, they are nurturing similar advocacy ties with community-based allies. League Involvement
The League of American Orchestras works to galvanize our field at the national level by representing orchestras before Congress, participating in national forums, and bringing orchestras the latest news on research and policy trends in arts education. By highlighting and reporting on best practices, providing professional development, and hosting convening opportunities, the League also aims to build orchestras’ capacity to carry out music education advocacy in their own communities. The League is a leader in national efforts to improve federal arts education policy through our coalition partnerships with a range of national arts and education organizations, in both formal and informal settings. Among these coalitions are the Arts Education Partnership and
the Arts Education Working Group. The League also encourages orchestras to coordinate their national music-education advocacy efforts with those at the local and state levels. Education Advocacy as Common Cause
As part of the League’s strategic planning process in 2007, we surveyed more than 2,700 individuals from a range of orchestra budget sizes and types along with donors, press, business leaders, and others, about the most relevant concerns of orchestras and their stakeholders. When asked to rate external circumstances that might have an impact on orchestras, respondents picked the “decline in music education” as having the most significant influence. The issue ranked higher than the economy, funding patterns, changing tastes of audiences, and public perceptions of orchestras. In response the League created a collective opportunity for orchestras nationwide to take individual, community-specific action to improve access to music education in schools. This took the form of a statement of common cause, “Orchestras Support In-School Music Education.” Initially drafted by education directors representing more than 50 adult and youth orchestras in February 2007, the document received additional input from the League’s Board of Directors, advisory committees comprising orchestra executive directors, and national arts organizations including The National Association for Music Education and the National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts. The statement was launched at the League’s National Conference in June 2007, and more than 240 orchestras have endorsed the document so far. (Find the statement online at americanorchestras.org under Advocacy and Government). The statement publicly articulates orchestras’ commitment to support in-school music education and outlines key principles and strategies for successful local advocacy efforts. In the ongoing endorsement process, all orchestra executive directors are invited
Orchestra Management Fellowship Program $40,000, travel the U.S., and a year with top Executive Directors The Orchestra Management Fellowship Program is designed for those who specifically aspire to careers as executive directors of American orchestras. The Fellowship year, which extends from June 2013- June 2014, includes residencies at the Aspen Music Festival and School and two host orchestras. Commitment to the program includes a two-month placement as an orchestra manager at the Aspen Music Festival and School, a seven to eight month placement with a major American orchestra and mentoring from the Orchestra’s executive director, and a 2-3 month placement with a smaller budget orchestra. In addition, fellows receive an annual stipend, medical benefits, and professional development funds to extend their own executive education. The Orchestra Management Fellowship Program is made possible by support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, alumni of the Fellowship Program, and by host orchestras.
to sign the statement and adapt it for local use. We also encourage orchestra leaders to review it with their musicians, trustees, volunteers, staff, and patrons, so that music education advocacy becomes a shared responsibility and opportunity for all orchestra stakeholders. The League has compiled a list of national music education advocacy resources, and asked experienced orchestra advocates to identify effective local advocacy activities. Suggestions include the following: • Engage your orchestra’s readymade advocates: trustees, musicians, and others who may already be well-acquainted with local education policymakers. • Review the statement of common cause with community partners and make plans to work together. • Get to know your state’s standards for music education. • Understand the broader educational issues of concern in your community and the challenges and opportunities facing local schools—and how your orchestra can help. • Honor local music educators and supportive school administrators at a performance or other public event. • Actively seek opportunities for key leaders of your orchestra (music director, musicians, executive director, and others) to speak on behalf of inschool music education in the local press, at school board meetings, and in other public settings. Find additional Sample Actions Your Orchestra Might Take on the League’s website, americanorchestras.org. We also invite you to share information about your advocacy activity that can inform further tips for best practices. Examples shared to date include: developing a government relations and advocacy committee or task force to plan,
Statement of Common Cause: Orchestras Support In-School Music Education America’s adult and youth orchestras are committed to advocating for better music education in our nation’s schools. Educational activities in orchestras have grown exponentially over the past 10 to 15 years. Starting from the tradition of stand-alone school-day and family concerts, orchestras now offer small ensemble performances; residencies and long-term partnerships; after-school and summer camps; instrumental instruction; early childhood and teen programs; and a host of other activities. Additionally, there are now nearly 500 youth orchestras in communities across the country. Orchestra programs strive for deeply embedded partnerships with local school systems, and responsiveness to local, state, and national arts and academic standards. While these programs provide an opportunity for young people to develop a lifelong relationship with music and with the orchestra, these programs are not capable of replacing a standards-based K-12 music education. Research has proven that arts education uniquely provides academic and social benefits, preparing students for success in school, work, and life. The status of music education in our nation’s schools has short- and long-term consequences for both student achievement and the future of all our orchestras. America’s orchestras are committed to:
Advocating for In-School Music Education Orchestras believe:
Being Informed Advocates Orchestras commit to:
• Understanding the status of in-school music education and advocating for accurate data and accountability about how much and what kind of music instruction students receive.
• Discovering, implementing, and sharing best practices in advocacy
for comprehensive, high-quality in-school music education through sustainable partnerships with all advocates in the community.
• Understanding how orchestra resources and strengths can best address student, school, and community needs.
Taking Action Orchestras seek to improve the status of in-school music education by:
• Ensuring music education advocacy is a role for everyone in the
orchestra family—staff, musicians, trustees, volunteers, and our audiences.
• Advocating for policies that support the presence of in-school music
• A child’s education is not complete unless it includes the arts. The
arts are a core subject of learning, and music is vital to maximizing a child’s full potential. Ensemble music making in schools is an important part of a complete music education.
• Schools are in a unique position to deliver comprehensive, high-
quality, systemic music education to all students. Orchestras will serve as a resource in this effort.
educators and demonstrably improve access to high-quality music education for all students.
• Proactively forming sustainable advocacy relationships with school partners, policy leaders, and community stakeholders to secure the success of every child’s music education.
• Participating in forums where local, state, and national education policies are determined by listening to community needs and communicating the benefits of systemic K-12 music education.
• The needs of students should be at the center of education advocacy efforts. Orchestras’ education programs are most effective when developed to address the needs of student learners, in partnership with the school leaders (teachers, administrators, parents), local arts organizations, and other stakeholders.
implement, and evaluate music education advocacy efforts; ensuring that music education is a regular topic of discussion among elected school board members and candidates; and forming local music education advocacy coalitions involving a broad range of community partners. Clearly, our nation’s schools should be doing a lot more to support equitable access to a complete arts education. Orchestras can continue doing our part as advocates so that—another ten years from now—we can say that the gaps are closing. americanorchestras.org
Resources The League of American Orchestras offers substantial resources to help orchestras advocate for in-school music education. To learn more about the statement of common cause, which outlines key principles and strategies for successful local advocacy efforts, visit americanorchestras.org and look for Orchestras Support InSchool Music Education. In addition, the League has compiled a list of national music-education advocacy resources, and asked experienced orchestra advocates to identify effective local advocacy activities; visit americanorchestras.org and look for Sample Actions Your Orchestra Might Take to learn more.
The Search Is On How to find that perfect match of orchestra and music director? The Music Director Search Handbook by Roger Saydack, a recent publication from the League, helps orchestra boards, musicians, and administrators conduct the search. Below are excerpts adapted from the book.
he appointment of a new music director is the single most important decision that a board, an orchestra, and an administrative staff can make. It is a major step in the realization of the organization’s artistic vision. It is one of the few occasions when the musicians, board, and staff work together on fundamental artistic issues. It is an opportunity like no other for artistic rejuvenation and even transformation. There is no “one size fits all” process for music director searches. The needs of orchestras vary according to their size, their artistic mission, and the needs and interests of their communities. Those needs must be reflected in the details of the process the organization designs for its search. But the concepts described in this handbook are foundational to music director searches for all orchestras. The Responsibilities of the Board of Directors in a Music Director Search
When an organization is about to begin a music director search, the board—which we can define as a group of citizens who have accepted the responsibility of managing the organization to further its mission—typically appoints a special search committee charged with managing a national or even international search for a new music director that will result in the recommendation of a candidate whom the committee believes should become
the organization’s next music director. The board then decides if it will accept or reject the committee’s recommendation. The authority to appoint the music director lies with the board, not with the search committee. It’s important that the committee, and especially the committee chair, understand this. It’s also important that the board be well prepared by the committee for this recommendation, as the board is quite interested in knowing the basis for the committee’s recommendation. At the beginning of the search, the chair of the search committee should appear before the board to explain the process that the committee has decided to use to identify and evaluate candidates and ask that this process be approved.
Then, at each board meeting during the search, the chair should update the board on the committee’s progress. This creates an ongoing dialogue between the committee and the board, giving board members a good basis for understanding and appreciating the work that went into the committee’s recommendation. In addition to the ultimate decisionmaking authority, what other responsibilities does the board have concerning the search? The board sets the artistic vision for the organization, which is used by the committee as it identifies the qualities needed in the next music director. For example: “An organization whose purpose is furthering the advancement of music composed by Americans must have a music director who specializes in this repertoire.” The board may also establish policies relating to the search that it believes are necessary to further the organization’s mission and vision. The organization may want the music director to take an active role in music education and community work. Or the board may decide to adopt a model for artistic leadership that is different than the single music director model; it may want different conductors or solo artists to lead different aspects of the organization’s artistic activities. The search might then become a search for several conductors/solo artists, or for one music director with limited responsibility. Another issue that often comes up concerns residency: the board may want the music director to reside in the community so that he or she can better understand the needs and interests of the audience and become known in the community. There’s a practical problem with residency policies that are this specific: unless the community is within commuting distance symphony
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and we know this is what you believe in, too. donate to the league of american orchestras today to help us continue to provide learning and advocacy support for your orchestra, and hundreds just like it across the country. only the league can support orchestras in this way, but we can’t do it without your help. donate now by using the enclosed envelope or clicking on the donate button at americanorchestras.org.
Learn More of a major musical metropolis, or unless the orchestra is in a large community that can offer a music director full-time employment, a residency requirement will reduce the number of top candidates who will be seriously interested in your position. It’s going to be seen by many candidates as career-limiting, because it will make it difficult for them to be actively involved in the center of the music world, with the ability to hear new music, new soloists, and great orchestras and conductors almost every night. And you should view this as limiting as well. You want your music director actively involved in the symphony world, learning about what’s new, which soloists are doing the best work, and you want him or her to gain experience by conducting other orchestras. All of this will benefit your orchestra and your audience. A more pragmatic residency policy for a small orchestra would be one requir-
For orchestras thinking about looking for a new music director, already in the process of searching, or just interested in the journey, the step-by-step Music Director Search Handbook is a roadmap to identifying the key musical leadership that is right for your orchestra. The Music Director Search Handbook is available free online for League members at bit.ly/NJKTqE.
ing that the music director spend enough time in the community to know it, and to become known by it. This requires efficient scheduling of meetings and events to take advantage of the music director’s time in town, and a real commitment on the part of everyone to make the most of that time. Policies that are not advisable to impose on a search include those that dictate music director specifics such as “We want a rising star instead of an established master” or “We want a U.S. citizen, not a foreign national.” The problem with these policies is that they are not based on musical values. They eliminate candidates and create priorities for reasons that are unrelated to the requirements of the job you are hiring for.
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As noted above, the board should approve the search process that the committee proposes to use. Why? Because the process, more than other any factor, determines the outcome of the search. It’s the process that enables the committee to fairly and equitably evaluate candidates against a set of qualifications that reflect the organization’s needs, its aspirations, and its artistic vision. And, very importantly, the process is what enables the right candidate to create a consensus among the organization’s constituencies. A process that creates a level playing field for the candidates will give each candidate equal opportunity to create a consensus. Finally, the board selects the chair of the committee, as discussed below. While the board has the power to appoint all members of the search committee, we recommend that the board appoint the board representatives to the committee, and that it invite the orchestra to nominate orchestra representatives whom the board will confirm. The Composition of the Search Committee
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It used to be that one of the most controversial questions during the initial stages of a search was, “Should you include orchestra members on the search committee?” Concerns about including orchestra members were based on a couple of assumptions. One was the belief that the committee was “hiring” the orchestra’s “boss,” so it wasn’t appropriate to involve the players in that decision. Another was that the players were too focused on the music and wouldn’t be able to appreciate the need for the music director to be popular with donors, or to serve other critical roles as a community leader. Today, it is broadly accepted that orchestra members must be included on search committees. The reasons are self-evident. Who is a better judge of a candidate’s ability to lead, to inspire, to symphony
teach musicians than the members of the orchestra? Also, orchestra members are vitally interested in the financial sustainability of the organization. As much as the board or anyone else, they want an artistic leader who will generate broad support for the orchestra from the community. It’s important to reach a consensus on the new music director that includes all the constituents of the organization.
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Today, it is broadly accepted that orchestra members must be included on music director search committees. Who is a better judge of a candidate’s ability to lead, to inspire, to teach musicians than the members of the orchestra? The search will fail if the outcome is not supported by both board and orchestra. The way to give the orchestra confidence that the committee has selected the right finalists is for the orchestra to be deeply involved in the selection process. This is why it is important for each of the major constituents of the organization to be represented on the search committee: the orchestra, the board, and the community. That way you’ll have the expertise and wisdom that are needed, and your committee will be a broad and strong group of supporters for the incoming music director. Other important parts of the organization can participate in the search, such as the administrative staff, the volunteer guild, key donors, the community, and, of course, the audience. You should include many voices in your search process, but only search committee members should have voting rights. ROGER SAYDACK has served four terms as chair of the Eugene (Ore.) Symphony Music Director Search Committee. Since 1996 he has been a faculty member for the League of American Orchestras Music Director Search Seminars, and in 2011 he served as program director for the League’s Music Director Search Mentoring Sessions. americanorchestras.org
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Opportunity in Crisis Can successful labor negotiations at a car company demonstrate possibilities for orchestras? A provocative session at the League’s 2012 National Conference provided some answers.
once-thriving industry confronting a crashing economy. A complex profession looking to reinvent itself to remain relevant in rapidly shifting social realities. An organization that relies on the skills and smarts of dedicated employees struggling to balance financial pragmatism with the needs of its workforce. Any of these statements could be used to describe America’s orchestras of today, but these are in fact just some of the issues that have roiled the Ford Motor Company—and the American automobile industry as a whole. But through it all, the United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Company have achieved a new level of constructive and collaborative labor relations. Sacrifice and flexibility were required from everyone, and the benefits seem amply evident. In the opening session at the League of American Orchestras’ 2012 National Conference in Dallas on June 6, orchestras heard key lessons in what it takes to build strong relations from the union and management leaders in the forefront of this effort: Marty Mulloy, vice president of labor affairs at Ford Motor Company, and Jimmy Settles Jr., vice president of the United Auto Workers. Rather than offer prepared speeches, the two men engaged in a spirited dialogue whose form mirrored the sort of discussions they used in their negotiations. League President and CEO Jesse Rosen introduced the pair, saying, “I imagine a lot of you are wondering, what does this have to do with us? Ford makes cars; we create
the ephemeral experience of music. The auto industry over the past several decades has faced significant challenges that parallel some of our own conditions, like changing markets, increased competition, a volatile economy, and environmental changes that require substantial adaptation. What is relevant to us is that management and labor at Ford built a relationship that allowed them to meet these external challenges. Civil and candid dialogue around
“The odds on Wall Street and in Detroit were that Ford Motor Company would go bankrupt in 2007. We sat down with the United Auto Workers and said, ‘We have to do things differently.’ ” —Marty Mulloy, vice president of labor affairs, Ford Motor Company tough issues, that’s the work that’s asked of every one of us this week. And to do this we have to put the interests of our orchestras ahead of any single constituent interest. We have to move from our own points of resistance to considering new possibilities. And finally, we have to engage. We’ve got to participate together. Today, Ford is thriving. It didn’t happen through sheer luck, but rather through cultural change, long-term strategy that required a shared understanding and shared sacrifice, and holding to a higher ground course over a long period of time.”
MARTY MULLOY: It’s a great honor being here with Jimmy Settles. What we’re going to do is have a bit of a dialogue. This isn’t a stiff speech, we just want to talk to you a little bit about the relationship we have at Ford, UAW, and how we do business together. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Ford Motor Company, we were founded in 1903. Henry Ford was named by Time magazine as the industrialist of the twentieth century. We were organized by the UAW in 1941. That’s actually four years after UAW organized at General Motors and Chrysler. Henry Ford had a paternalistic view of his employees. He really tried to do the right thing. But as time wore on in his career we had some real difficulties at Ford. There was one really violent exchange back then that changed the DNA of Ford Motor Company and got us to asking the question, do we really treat our union brothers with respect? JIMMY SETTLES JR: I’m a fourthgeneration Ford Motor Company employee. My dad was hired right after the union won recognition at Ford; my dad was also a trade unionist. It’s funny—my dad got hired, and then he got his dad hired. And some years later I got hired there, worked a summer to go to college. That was 44 years ago. I’m also really proud: I have a son who started working for Ford Motor Company this year. He’s an engineer, he’s on the opposite side, but he’s still with Ford. I guess the numberone question I had was, “What took you so long for the UAW to organize Ford?” It was fairly obvious. Ford Motor Company back during that time was very active in the community. Ford—you’d go anyplace in the Detroit metro area and you’d see, whether it’s the arts or sports or anything else, Ford was an integral part. As a matter of fact, Ford started the first symphony
housing project. And they used to actually employ blacks from down South and immigrants from other countries. And they provided housing. It was very difficult to organize Ford because of what the Ford Motor Company did for them when they got hired. Actually, the reason why we got organized—we got lucky. There used to be a president that you may know about, Walter P. Reuether. At Ford Rouge, the largest industrial plant in the world at the time, we’d pass out leaflets and get people to go for the union. One time Harry Bennett—one of the Ford goons, as we’d call them at that time—came out and beat up the organizers. And it just so happened
“We decided that we’re not adversaries, we are partners. When Ford Motor Company prospers, we prosper. For every X amount of money that Ford makes, we get a profit share. It’s very transparent.” —Jimmy Settles Jr., vice president, United Auto Workers some photographers were there. That’s what really sparked the movement for us to get organized at Ford. There is always something different between the workers and the company at Ford; we always had some type of bonding, even though we went through some very tough times, had many strikes, many disagreements. But from 1976 on we found a way to work the contracts without losing a day’s work. There’s been an ongoing relationship between Ford and the UAW; it’s not something that we just thought about as the right thing to do yesterday and it happened the day after that. MULLOY: Jesse [Rosen] talked in his introduction about cultural change, about facing reality. Well, in 2006 Ford Motor Company lost $16.5 billion. From 2001 to 2008, Ford Motor Company lost $50 billion. There are very few companies in the world that can survive a $50 billion americanorchestras.org
loss. At that time our quality was not up to par, our product development was not up to par, our labor costs had increased to a point it was very difficult to source product in the United States. A new CEO, Alan Mulally, came aboard, and he brought the team together. He said, “First of all, we’re going to quit living in denial.” And he said, “It’s amazing how people will reject data if it conflicts with their cherished beliefs.” No matter how bad it is, no matter how awful the data is, you face the data and you accept the reality. At the same time, you never give up. So we called the UAW and said, “We’re in a load of trouble and this company’s going to go bankrupt.” The odds on Wall Street and in Detroit were that Ford Motor Company, this icon of the United States, would go bankrupt in 2007 and we’d be no more. We sat down with the UAW and said, “We have to do things differently.” I’ve been on my job as a vice president of labor affairs for Ford Motor Company for eight years, and if there’s one dramatic change it’s been the way we approach the union. It’s not “I don’t have time” or Jimmy Settles, Jr., left, and Marty Mulloy in their shared keynote session, How Labor and Management Came Together “This stuff is awfully comat the Ford Motor Company, at the League’s 2012 National plex.” First of all, we opened Conference in Dallas the books, including probably the most cherished and most secret thing we have, our cycle plan. The SETTLES: In the1980s the Big Three cycle plan is extremely secret for a variety auto companies dominated the market. of reasons: we don’t want our competition The relationship between the union and to know the products we’re coming out company worked for both of us. They with, and we didn’t necessarily want the kept things from us and we tried to take UAW to understand where we’re going them. It was no different than what to source products in the future. But this happened on the shop floor. As a union time we shared that cycle plan with the we thought the best thing we could do is UAW, because at the end of the day we measure how much money we beat the know they’re our business partners. company out of, how many grievances we
won. Both sides were more focused on fighting one another than on quality. But in the ’80s we started to have competition. At Ford at that time there were well over 200,000 UAW and Canadian Auto Workers employees at Ford. Today we don’t have 50,000. I was president of
one of the largest plants at Ford. That plant closed after only being open ten years. One, because of competition, and secondly because they decided to move the foundry work out of the United States and have it done someplace else. Ford and the UAW decided to sit down and open up the
agreement. We realized we had to change things because we had competition. At that time, a historic agreement was signed; it had what we called preferential hiring, where they could be hiring in another state and give a person an opportunity to go to that state and work. It was unprecedented—something that for 40 years we tried to get and Ford resisted. It was the first time that they sat down and said, “We understand that we need to work with you, union.” For the first time in history they said, “We’re going to listen to you.” Since 1982, we have been negotiating contracts and being more openminded. I never thought that I would be able to sit down with the top echelon of Ford Motor Company—it’s not someone’s assistant, I sit down with Mulally and with the top five [executives]. We also have quarterly financial meetings. It made us think about how the company was run. We decided that we’re not adversaries, we are partners. How do we partner better to make everybody happy? Obviously Ford cares about profits. I think they care about people, too. Obviously we care about people, but we also care about profits. When Ford Motor Company prospers, we prosper. We just negotiated a historical agreement. For every X amount of money that Ford makes, we get a profit share. It’s very transparent. We continue this because it is a process. Is it an absence of problems? No, it isn’t. We have problems every day. We have arbitration cases. But that’s what it is: a disagreement where we agree to disagree, and at the end of the day still remain partners. We saw the crisis and we saw that there was opportunity for us in that crisis—opportunity so ou r members can have some real job security and know what they’re doing from day to day. This has been a very long process and I’m proud to say that we’ve seen the fruition of it. I think our membership sees it. But it is no utopia. MULLOY: The management team uses a strategy called interest-based bargaining. Instead of focusing on your position, you focus on your interests. We try to be soft on people and hard on issues. symphony
I can tell you, sometimes we were hard on people and soft on issues. We’d go in there and beat the living daylights out of each other and we’d say, “What in the hell were we fighting about?” And we never got anything done and the issue that was causing the problem was never addressed. The other thing we talk about is putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes. Listen before you talk. Don’t blame. Show respect to your negotiators, and to the people in the room. Let me give you an example of how this really made a major difference. In the old days we’d talk to the UAW maybe five minutes before making a major announcement and we’d say, “Here’s where we’re going to build a plant.” In ’07 we said, “Nope, can’t do that.” We had two plants that build big SUVs. Those SUVs were transferred to other plants because there’s hardly any demand for really large SUVs. We were going to close two more plants in the United States after we had already closed six. So we said, “Based on today’s economics, these plants are going to close. But here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to sit down with the UAW leadership. Open the books and say, ‘How can we structure a business equation that we can survive?’” After negotiations, we ended up assembling a product at a Louisville plant, instead of in Mexico. It’s a three-shift operation, with 4,000 people. For every one assembly job there are ten associated jobs. It’s a multiplier effect of all the suppliers, everything in the community. We did the same thing with the Michigan assembly plant—three-shift operation, another 4,000 people with jobs. In the most recent negotiation with Jimmy we were going to close the AAI plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. They build the Mustang there. The original plan was take the Mustang out and move it somewhere else. One-shift plants don’t make any sense in our business. We sat down with the UAW, figured out a way to do it, and we’re bringing a shift to assemble the Fusion there. There’s another 4,000 jobs. At an Ohio assembly plant, we’re taking a medium truck, built in Mexico, and bringing it into the United americanorchestras.org
States. That’s another 2,000 jobs. That plant was going to close. In this last agreement with Jimmy and the UAW team, Ford Motor Company committed to the United States $16 billion of investment and thousands of jobs. That’s working with the UAW.
SETTLES: What we did, did not come without risk. Some of it, our membership was not very happy with. It’s not the old style of bargaining. But we did it because we knew that was the right thing to do. This last agreement had a very rocky start. The first two or three
Pictured: Natalie Berg with the renowned Cleveland Orchestra.
“HARTFORD SYMPHONY’S SEASON OPENER A SMASHING SUCCESS...
is an intense player who unleashed an extraordinary technical arsenal, including a cadenza for pedalboard played at lightening speed only with his feet. Houlihan showed that an organist can have the charisma and energy of a major soloist...a promising soloist with strong international potential.” (The Hartford Courant) “Dazzling performances displaying a virtuoso’s technical prowess, an architect’s grasp of structure and a torch singer’s ability to convey emotions.” (The Wall Street Journal)
plants that voted on the agreement voted it down. I said, “I better get out here on the road and explain this myself because I don’t think people are explaining it correctly.” We got almost 70 percent approval once we explained what we were doing. MULLOY: In negotiations, everyone thinks about the company and the union and the bargaining table. But there are two other negotiations taking place, and I’ll let Jimmy talk about union within the union. The toughest part of my job sometimes is negotiating within management. Because when I sit down with the union I’ve got to get everybody on board—the CEO of the company, Alan Mulally, the chief financial officer, the operations manager, all the vice presidents of product development, purchasing, manufacturing. Everybody needs to be a part of the team. At Ford Motor Company we consider negotiations a team sport and we all have to be prepared. Jimmy and I talk frequently, and Jimmy talks to the senior leadership of the company, so there are no surprises. You don’t prepare for negotiations the week before. There should be no surprises to the union or the company what the key issues are. It’s an ongoing process and it requires continual dialogue. SETTLES: It’s the same thing on my side. The number-one motivator is always money. If you ask any of our members “What would you like to see in the agreement?” Number one, it’s money. And to change that mindset, because money is important, we had to do a lot. So I personally went to every building under the Ford banner and had an open conversation with the leadership and the membership and tried to convince them that one, we need job security. At the UAW our membership used to be 1.5 million. Up to 20 years ago it was 1.2 million. Right now we have less than 500,000. So that means almost a million families that used to have good employment no longer have that employment. We had to do something to make certain that we had employment for not only for ourselves but hopefully for people in the future. MULLOY: The enemy of collaboration
is arrogance. It’s the worst of all diseases. The opposite is humility—the ability to accept the fact that your view of the world is incomplete. I have been around Ford Motor Company. I’ve seen great plant managers, I’ve seen bad plant managers. Guys that run product development, women who have been in finance—the great ones are humble. They listen to their people, they participate, and they collaborate to get things done. The worst are the people who think they’re the Marlboro man, walking down that plant floor, kicking ass and taking names. That’s how we used to run the operation, and that’s why we used to not succeed. Now we’re looking for people with some humility to be able to listen to others, including the union. SETTLES: Ditto to that. I didn’t know when we got here what value we can give you orchestra people, but I hope we have done that, because this is a recipe of success. I’ve been around 44 years, I’ve seen it both ways, survived both ways. I liked it when it was the other way, but when I had a plant close in 1982 and I watched some of my brothers and sisters commit suicide because they no longer had a job, when I watched how kids could not go to school because they had no longer had jobs, I said to myself that we had to change. I am really proud of the last agreement because if nothing else we’re preserving jobs and we’re making America better. I live in the city of Detroit. And I’ve seen the good times and the bad times. It’s really bad times now— looks like a third-world country. But just like everybody else I have hope. We engaged in getting employment in Detroit. We’re doing all kind of things together. We understand that we have more interests in common than we have disagreements. To learn more, watch the video How Labor and Management Came Together at the Ford Motor Company, online at SymphonyNOW. Visit symphonynow.org and search for “Ford Motor Company.” Then let us know what you think in the comments section. symphony
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History by Chester Lane
In Part I (“Secession. 1861”) of the Virginia Opera’s production of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Rappahannock County, tenor Kevin Tuell portrayed the states-rights advocate Jefferson Adams. Joining him in this scene were baritone Kevin Moreno, soprano Aundi Marie Moore, and mezzo-soprano Faith Sherman.
Along with orchestral events, Toronto’s Luminato Festival explored the War of 1812’s impact on civilian life last June with “The Encampment,” an art installation consisting of 200 A-frame tents erected on the grounds of Fort York, which had fallen to U.S. forces on April 27, 1813.
© Rachel Greenberg
omposers and orchestras are grappling with American history in provocative new ways. Triumphalist evocations of epochal events and hagiographic portraits of dead white males are largely gone. More nuanced and thoughtful works are emerging: reflections on the Civil War and the War of 1812 from multiple and deeply personal perspectives; a flute concerto capturing the pathos of the Trail of Tears; an operatic portrait of a woman whose bid for the presidency preceded Hillary Clinton’s by more than a century; a tone poem inspired by the death of a president; and an orchestral drama about one fateful day in the life of his successor. Not that it’s all hand-wringing and guilt. A spate of new orchestral compositions are putting American history under a microscope. The relevance of these history-driven works to contemporary society depends not only on their content, but on how they’re being presented. Some tell their story with stagecraft, song or narration, others with sound alone. And many have enhanced the music with events, conversation, or exhibits that take the works beyond the concert hall into the community.
From the founding fathers, to the battles waged by an expanding nation, to the life and tragic death of J.F.K., people and events in American history continue to inspire new orchestral works. americanorchestras.org
Steve J. Sherman
Jaap van Zweden conducts Steven Stucky’s August 4, 1964 at Carnegie Hall, May 2011. Joining the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus were soloists Kristine Jepson, Indira Mahajan, Rod Gilfry, and Vale Rideout.
Music Director Peter Oundjian leads the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Philip Glass’s Overture to 2012, concluding the Luminato Festival’s War of 1812 events, June 2012.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break, our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” These stirring words were spoken by President Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1861, during his first inaugural address. Less than six weeks later, Confederate forces fired on their enemies in the Union garrison at Fort Sumter, ushering in the most wrenching internal conflict in American history. Today the “mystic chords of memory” are finding expression in musical compositions marking the sesquicentennial of that war. One of these new works is Kermit Poling’s No Sound of Trumpet Nor Roll of Drum. Poling, a conductor and violinist in addition to his work as a composer—he’s music director of the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, associate conductor of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and until recently served as Shreveport’s concertmaster— scored No Sound for orchestra and two narrators, one male and one female. “Our intent was to create a piece that didn’t imply any favoritism to one side or the other,” says Poling. “It doesn’t celebrate the war. It just acknowledges that the war happened, that it was horrible, that the experience was a tremendous change in our country and something that shouldn’t be forgotten.” The instrumental writing, harmonically conservative and often soothingly
melodic, complements a text that is elegiac and reflective rather than martial in character. The piece opens with Lincoln’s abovequoted words from 1861, and ends with an equally famous passage (“With malice toward none and charity for all…”) from the president’s second inaugural address, delivered March 4, 1865, as the war was drawing to a close. No Sound takes its title, and some of its most moving text, from a memoir by Joshua Chamberlain, the Union Army general who accepted the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. Other textual sources include the wartime letters of infantrymen and wives on the home front. No Sound was commissioned jointly by the Marshall Symphony Orchestra in eastern Texas and a neighboring organization in Louisiana, the Shreveport Summer Music Festival. Marshall premiered the piece under Poling’s direction on February 27, 2011, and the composer conducted it again that spring in Shreveport as part of the festival orchestra’s annual Memorial Day concert. The following February Poling brought No Sound to his own South Arkansas Symphony, discussing the new piece in several interviews that aired locally on public radio and including it in SAS’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. concert. Additional performances of No Sound have included one by the Parma (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, and a performance is scheduled for next May by the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra (Bel Air, Md.). Another new work occasioned by the Civil War sesquicentennial is Rappahannock County, a 90-minute theatrical song cycle with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and a libretto by Mark Campbell. Co-commis-
sioned by the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Opera, the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts, and Texas Performing Arts at the University of TexasAustin, it had its first performances at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Va., in April 2011. The Richmond and Austin premieres took place that September. Unlike the Poling work, Rappahannock County evokes a specific region and depicts the war both topically and chronologically. As Gordon explained in a Times-Dispatch interview shortly before the Richmond premiere, librettist Mark Campbell “wanted to keep it in Virginia and suggested narrowing it down to Rappahannock County. By setting it in one county, we were setting a limitation that made it all manageable.” Drawing its text from diaries, letters, and other contemporary accounts, Rappahannock County focuses largely on issues of slavery and emancipation. Backed by a seventeen-piece chamber Trail of Tears orchestra, five singers— would appear three in roles designated as to be just Caucasian, two as Africana dramatic American—portray 30 difflute concerto ferent characters, both real devoid of and imagined, who express political or a range of emotions and historical political viewpoints. They significance. might be ancestors of peoBut audiences ple living in Rappahannock who have heard County today. composer Judith Ilika, director of Michael performance promotion at Daugherty Theodore Presser Comspeak from the pany, the work’s publisher, stage about notes that “many aspects the piece have of the war are treated in come away Rappahannock County. with something ‘Farewell, Old Dominion’ more. is sung by a white Virgin-
ian who doesn’t agree with his state’s political stance, and so is leaving for the north. ‘Bound to Be’ is an extremely ironic view of emancipation by a black character, and yet another view of freedom-as-abandonment is portrayed in ‘All I Ever Known.’ There’s extreme pathos in ‘Hallie-Ann’ and upbeat joy in ‘Jumping the Broom’ as slaves were finally allowed to marry. For me, one of the strongest numbers is ‘I Walk Away’ as a black Union soldier chooses not to take revenge on a white Confederate.” Overture to Reflection
As it ponders the Civil War at a distance of 150 years, the nation observes the bicentennial of another American conflict, one that began with a declaration of war against Great Britain signed by President James Madison on June 18, 1812. Baltimore, because of its association with Fort McHenry and the inspiration it gave to Francis Scott Key in the writing of The Star Spangled Banner, is strongly identified with the War of 1812. And it was Baltimore native Philip Glass to whom a consortium of U.S. and Canadian organizations turned for an orchestral piece commemorating that war. His Overture for 2012 was commissioned by the Toronto and Baltimore symphony orchestras, the City of Toronto, the Maryland State Arts Council, and Toronto’s Luminato Festival of Arts and Creativity. It was premiered simultaneously by the Toronto and Baltimore symphonies on June 17 of this year under their respective music directors, Peter Oundjian and Marin Alsop. In Baltimore the premiere took an upbeat tone as part of a “Star-Spangled Sailabration” that included a parade of tall ships and naval vessels in the harbor and a flyover by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels. Glass’s overture shared the bill with music from John Williams’s film score to The Patriot; an Armed Forces Medley performed with the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus; “The Streets of Baltimore” as arranged by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (and performed by his Celtic rock band, O’Malley’s March); and, of course, The Star-Spangled Banner. As for the new Glass work, Baltimore Sun critic Tim Smith wrote, “Except for a few dark brass chords, Overture 2012 does not seem to be concerned with any past unpleasantness. The 75-year-old Glass, a guiding light in the genre known as minimalism, has fashioned an upbeat score that americanorchestras.org
churns along steadily and engagingly.” Toronto had a considerably more provocative take on the War of 1812. Aside from the premiere of Glass’s Overture to 2012, the Luminato Festival featured a large-scale art installation on the grounds of Toronto’s Fort York, which had fallen to U.S. forces during the war. The installation consisted of 200 A-frame tents, each depicting an aspect of the war’s impact on civilian life gleaned from research into real-life stories of family, love, loss, survival, patriotism, collaboration, and betrayal. And in conjunction with the Royal Ontario Museum, the festival carried discussion of the war further with a June 8 forum entitled “The U.S. Has Coveted Canada Since the War of 1812.” According to organizers of the forum, at issue was “whether the invasion continues to this day—not with muskets and cannons but with political ideas and cultural values, movies and television, and fast-food chains and resource-hungry corporations.”
Hampson; and Mount Rushmore for chorus and orchestra, a Pacific Symphony commission inspired by South Dakota’s iconic mountain sculpture of four American presidents. It was in researching the latter that Daugherty came up with the idea for an orchestral work commemorating the Trail of Tears. “Mount Rushmore was sculpted into a mountain considered sacred to the Indians of that area,” he says. “I thought at that time I’d like to look at American history from another point of view.” In Trail of Tears it’s a Native American point of view, but not specifically Cherokee. The wordless protagonist is the flute soloist, who must employ a variety of contem-
While the War of 1812 was a milestone in U.S. history, its overall impact on society was far less profound than that of the countless battles waged by the nation’s rulers against indigenous North Americans. These included not just small-scale, localized wars but mass displacements such as the infamous Trail of Tears during the regime of President Andrew Jackson, in which the U.S. Army forcibly marched more than 15,000 Cherokees from their ancestral lands in the South to the “Indian territory” in what is now Oklahoma. That sorrowful episode from 1838-1839 is captured in a recent work for solo flute and chamber orchestra by Michael Daugherty. His Trail of Tears Flute Concerto was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and the Ann Arbor (Mich.), Delaware, Omaha, and Tupelo (Miss.) symphony orchestras. It was premiered March 25, 2010, by flutist Amy Porter and the Omaha Symphony under Music Director Thomas Wilkins. Daugherty, a self-proclaimed history buff, says his catalogue now includes “about 100 pieces that reflect various aspects of American history or American icons.” Trail of Tears followed hard on the heels of two other works of his that are rooted in American history: Letters from Lincoln, written for the Spokane Symphony and baritone Thomas
Composer/conductor Kermit Poling and narrators Archie McDonald and Gail Beil following the Marshall Symphony Orchestra’s February 2011 premiere of Poling’s Civil Warinspired work No Sound of Trumpet Nor Roll of Drum.
porary techniques—tongue flutters, note bending, large jumps in its lightning-quick passage work—to evoke a range of emotion. As Daugherty indicates in the program note on his website, the nostalgic first movement (“where the wind blew free”) was inspired by a quotation from the 19thcentury Apache leader Geronimo. The second movement, “incantation,” meditates on the passing of loved ones and the hope for a better life in the world beyond. The third and final movement, ‘sun dance,’ evokes a spectacular Plains Indian ceremony. “Banned for a century by the U.S. government,” he writes, “the dance is now practiced again today. I have composed a fiery musical dance to suggest how reconnecting with rituals of the past might create a path to a new and brighter future.” Though the work was conceived from the outset as a flute concerto evoking Native American history, Daugherty chose not
to score the solo part for Native American flute. “It’s too limited as to pitches,” he says. “The so-called classical Western flute has a wide palette, and is able to sound like a Native American flute.” Amy Porter has now performed the piece with all of the commissioning orchestras, as well as one assembled for the National Flute Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas. This fall she will perform Trail of Tears with the Florence (S.C.) Symphony Orchestra. As a piece without text, Trail of Tears would appear to be just a dramatic flute concerto devoid of political or historical significance. And it can be appreciated that way. But audiences who have heard Daugherty speak from the stage about what inspired him to write the piece have come away with something more. He maintains that the piece “transcends what happened in America. Throughout history you see examples of peoples and cultures either being wiped out or forced to move. It’s a topic we’re dealing with even now.” Presidents, Real and Imagined
American presidents are very much on the mind of composer Victoria Bond these days. Two new compositions inspired by George Washington and Franklin Roosevelt—wind concerti featuring solo flute and solo clarinet, respectively—were premiered at Chicago’s Roosevelt University in March of this year. And Bond has two other presidential portraits in the works: a concerto for string orchestra and violin commemorating Thomas Jefferson, and a concerto for brass ensemble and trumpet on Theodore Roosevelt. But the work that has occupied center stage for Bond this fall concerns not a president from America’s past, but an obscure presidential candidate. Victoria Woodhull, who ran against Ulysses S. Grant in his bid for re-election in 1872, is the protagonist of Bond’s newest opera, Mrs. President, created in partnership with Australian librettist and playwright Hilary Bell. Many years in the making, it debuts in its fully staged form this fall in a production by Anchorage Opera. Woodhull was decades ahead of her time: an outspoken feminist, entrepreneur, newspaper editor, and the first woman in U.S. history to run for president—on the Equal Rights Party ticket, with the prominent African American social reformer Frederick
Douglass as her running mate. Her platform included women’s suffrage and numerous other progressive ideas, including one that made her especially vulnerable to public scorn: she advocated free love. In Mrs. President she’s the heroine of what is essentially a grand opera, a work relatively accessible from a melodic standpoint but in no way resembling a Broadway-style musical. What drives the plot is Woodhull’s unsuccessful attempt to enlist support for her ideas from the liberal Brooklyn preacher Henry Ward Beecher (who was secretly seducing his female parishioners). Woodhull was branded “Mrs. Satan” in a cartoon by the powerful opinion maker Thomas Nast that appeared in Harper’s Weekly in February 1872. It was the Nast cartoon that originally gave Bond the idea of titling her opera “Mrs. Satan.” What changed her mind was Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency in 2008. “I was a big supporter of Hillary’s, and I didn’t want to be misunderstood as casting aspersions on her candidacy. That’s when I changed the title of my opera to Mrs. President.” Another new presidentially inspired work looks at a single day. August 4, 1964, a 75-minute concert drama by Steven Stucky with a libretto by Gene Scheer, focuses on two events from that day that were to have profound effects on the legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson: discovery of the bodies of slain civil-rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, which heightened national awareness of the civil rights movement and strengthened the president’s resolve to push for passage of the Voting Rights Act; and Johnson’s decision to bomb North Vietnam in response to a reputed “incident” in the Gulf of Tonkin, thus escalating the war that would ultimately undo his presidency. “My commission from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was for a work celebrating LBJ’s 100th birthday,” says Stucky. “But it was far from obvious how to do that. The subject matter turned out to be Gene’s doing.” It was Scheer’s research that turned up the coincidence of August 4, 1964. As he told Laurie Shulman for an article that appeared in Playbill at the time of the work’s world premiere on September 18, 2008, “On the White House tapes, you hear LBJ dealing with these two issues simultaneously. The conflation of the two events seemed like a perfect point of departure for a dra-
matic piece.” It suggested a work with four solo roles—LBJ, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and the bereaved mothers of James Chaney and Andrew Goodman—as well as a chorus to provide commentary in the tradition of Greek tragedy. “When we first took on the project,” says Stucky, “we had this fear that it might be a one-time-only piece. But when we got to Dallas and heard it and interacted with the audience and the chorus, we saw that the emotional content goes beyond any kind of narrow, parochial idea. It’s a deep human topic.” August 4, 1964 has had a life beyond Dallas: in May 2011 the DSO brought it to Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music festival. And the all-instrumental seventh movement, “Elegy,” is performable as a separate concert work. The Berkeley Symphony Orchestra premiered it in December 2009, and the DSO plans to include “Elegy” on its European tour program next March. With August 4, 1964 the Dallas Symphony found an unusual and thought-provoking way to observe the 100th birthday of a Texas native son. Its next presidential commission also focuses on a single day, and the local connection is a sobering one: Conrad Tao’s The World Is Different Now commemorates the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Under Jaap van Zweden, the DSO will premiere it in November 2013, in observance of the 50th anniversary of that event. This will not be the first “I studied orchestral work attempt- the Kennedy ing to capture the spirit of assassination America’s 35th president. from a Dan Welcher did that in dispassionate a big way with JFK: The perspective. Voice of Peace, a 45-minute This was oratorio for narrator, solo a project cello, chorus and orchestra in which I commissioned by the New was forced Heritage Music Foun- to acutely dation and premiered in understand 1999 by Boston’s Handel the subject,” & Haydn Society. A more says composer recent work is Peter Boyer’s Conrad Tao. The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, whose text by Lynn Ahrens incorporates words from John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy; it was commissioned by Keith Lockhart symphony
and the Boston Pops in 2010 as the centerpiece of that orchestra’s 125th season. The World Is Different Now will attempt to describe the assassination and its impact with pure instrumental sound. Yet the composer of this work—unlike Welcher, the creators of August 4, 1964, and millions of other Americans—has no direct memories of the man he is memorializing, nor of his tragic death: Conrad Tao is an eighteenyear-old student enrolled at Columbia University and The Juilliard School. The work he will write is for full orchestra, an ambitious undertaking for a composer whose catalogue to date includes nothing larger in scale than a piano concerto with chamber-orchestra instrumentation. Tao, a multiple prize-winning pianist, violinist, and composer born in Urbana, Illinois, first came to the attention of Jaap van Zweden in 2009 at the Singapore Arts Festival, when he performed Rachmaninoff ’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with van Zweden’s Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Van Zweden subsequently invited Tao to perform with the Dallas Symphony during its 2010-11 season. It was then that the young composer met Aldert Vermeulen, the orchestra’s artistic administrator. “At that time we were looking for a composer for this Kennedy commission,” says Vermeulen. “I didn’t want someone from the older generation who has lived through that time. I thought it would be interesting to have a really young person who’s had no direct experience with Kennedy and comes from a completely different background. I didn’t want another big piece with a chorus and four soloists. I just wanted to give him something small-scale and intense and see what he would come up with.” Tao’s title is taken from Kennedy’s inaugural address. “He was actually referring to the threat of nuclear war,” says the composer. “It was the 1960s, and the Soviet threat was omnipresent. That isn’t quite relevant today, but we still live in a world governed by some non-specific sense of fear. The World Is Different Now is an appropriate title, because it directly responds to what happened immediately after the assassination. “There’s an eerie calm that I’m going for in this piece,” he continues. “I had studied the assassination from a very dispassionate, textbook/Wikipedia perspective. This was a project in which I would be forced to acuteamericanorchestras.org
ly understand the subject. I had to gain an understanding about the event that wasn’t physical. I think that’s what inspired me to write the work I’m writing—a reflection on how that event still resonates in our minds today. In every oral history I’ve encountered, every conversation I’ve had with people who were alive when it happened, what I’ve heard is that there was a seismic shift in the air. It wasn’t just the death of one man but
the death of an era. The death of Camelot, really. In my generation we watch the Zapruder film of the assassination—it’s out there on the internet, making people upset every day. What strikes me as the most harrowing thing about the event and its aftermath was how quickly it passed, and yet how everyone recalls it in slow motion.” CHESTER LANE is senior editor of Symphony.
FINAL FANTASY is a registered trademark or trademark of Square Enix Group Co., Ltd.
alf a century ago, great communicators like Arthur Fiedler pushed back against the perception that orchestral music was exclusively the province of the classical tradition, and in doing so they did much to keep the orchestra relevant to 20th-century Americans. Fiedlerâ€™s recipe for success during his nearly 50-year tenure as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra has become well-known: a blend of popular tunes and light classics, served up with plenty of banter and a sense of informal rapport with the audience. Along with likeminded musical ambassadors Erich Kunzel and Marvin Hamlisch, Fiedler sought to bring both programming and concert culture more in line with mid-century culture and tastes. While once a bold innovation, the pops concert has become such an effective complement to the traditional orchestral repertoire that almost every orchestra in America now has a dedicated pops series.
FINAL FANTASY is a registered trademark or trademark of Square Enix Group Co., Ltd.
by Dan Visconti
Final Fantasy, featured on this spread, was one of the first video games to feature a full-blown orchestral score. Top left and large image: Arnie Roth leads the touring production of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy, featuring orchestral music from the popular video-game series, with accompanying video projections of famous scenes and characters. Above: Roth with Final Fantasy score composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Does orchestral music from films and video gamesâ€”and the startling visuals that go with themâ€”offer new ways to connect with audiences?
is through its association with something else. Today, audience members likely listen to a greater amount of orchestral music in films, television, radio, and video games than they hear live orchestral music—even if they attend more than one orchestral concert a week. Visually oriented pops shows are closer to current standards of entertainment and seem to get closer to the actual orchestral music that is most present in a 21st-century American’s life. While performing film scores is nothing new, the increasing availability of live screenings has done much to reinvigorate appreciation for the art of film scoring and has served to shine the light on some of today’s contemporary composers, such as George Fenton, who ought to be better known for their contributions. Meanwhile, the show Voyage of Discovery—a video presentation to accompany Holst’s The Planets, featuring imagery recorded by NASA—has sought to bring a new spin to a classic symphonic work. This exploration of music and the visual image opens up new terrain, reacquainting audiences with orchestral music in a manner that might have the potential of introducing a new generation to the appreciation of orchestral music in general. Gamers Geek Out
A few months ago I had a chance to check out the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Video Games as Art” exhibition, which featured a dazzling array of playable games ranging from early hits Pong and Pac-Man to more current games pre-
Composer Nico Muhly claims Nintendo games prepared him for operatic composing: “The actions of my hands informed, in a strange way, the things I heard.”
As popular music has shifted from big ence becomes more harmonized with the bands and orchestral swing to rock and its level of technology and visual stimulation electronic or amplified instruments, the trathat our society has grown accustomed to ditional pops concert of Fiedler’s day has since Chaplin’s day. been nearly stretched to its limit, reflecting As live screenings have evolved to feachanges in popular taste and the orchesture more recent fare, they’ve also grown tral pops format. Although pops concerts more ambitious—for a recent example, the still feature show tunes and the American touring Lord of the Rings in Concert preSongbook, the pops audience today craves sented live screenings of The Fellowship of more than a Leroy Anderson novelty numthe Ring replete with 200 instrumentalists ber. Now along with and singers performsolo acts like singering Howard Shore’s Film scores have always pianist Ben Folds and grand symphonic been a rich source of fodder larger collectives such score, with more apfor pops, but not until as Pink Martini, pops pearances scheduled the last five to ten years concerts of the last 30 around the world has it become common years have sprinkled in into 2013. Also, as for orchestra concerts Led Zeppelin tributes pops programming to feature a strong visual along with more trabegan to include component as counterpoint ditional pops offerings. more contemporary to the spectacle of a live Recently, pops prosources, orchestral symphony orchestra doing gramming has begun music popping up its thing. to embrace some of the in unexpected plactechnological advances es—like the popuof the last century, and in turn begun to lar David Attenborough-narrated BBC/ explore innovative new formats that might Discovery nature documentary series The transform pops shows into a force for incluBlue Planet—has led to highly successful sion and relevancy. Being relevant isn’t about runs of shows such as Blue Planet Live, chasing after every new gimmick and trend which features some of the most emotionthat comes along, or uncritically embracing ally charged and breathtaking scenes from behavior that cheapens or dilutes the concert the entire series along with live perforexperience; being relevant has more to do mances of Emmy Award-winning comwith being in tune with the larger currents poser George Fenton’s lush, cinematic influencing the way people experience orscore. Beginning with concerts in the U.K. chestral music. Today, it’s increasingly likely in 2005, the show has since made its way that younger generations will form relationto the States. This show (along with its ships with the sound of a symphony orchesFenton-scored brethren Planet Earth Live tra synced to moving images via countless and Frozen Planet) has been immensely movie soundtracks and video games. popular in the U.S., with performances from Dallas to Tampa to St. Louis. FenRewiring the Pops Experience ton’s score is in the grand tradition of the Film scores have always been a rich source Hollywood greats of the 1930s and ’40s: of fodder for the pops canon, but it’s not expressive, full of textural and instrumenuntil the last five to ten years that it has tal variety, and deftly wedded to the scene become common for orchestra concerts to at hand. feature a strong visual component as counWhat all the above shows have in comterpoint to the spectacle of a live symmon is an understanding that one of the phony orchestra doing its thing. Several most exciting things about music is its orchestras—including those of Chicago, ability to represent or, deeper still, proSan Francisco, and St. Louis—have pervide subtext for, the visual. Music videos, formed live screenings of Charlie Chaplin film, and smartphones have all upped the films, with Chaplin’s elegant scores proante on visual stimulation, something that viding striking (and frequently hilarious) newer audiences have come to expect. contrast to the Tramp character. The exPerhaps out of a mistaken purism, we in perience unlocks a greater level of interest the classical music community often fail and depth than the performance of a film to acknowledge that one of the main reascore alone, and the entire concert experisons people come to enjoy particular music
Video Games Live
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performed a Video Games Live program, conducted by Jack Wall and with Video Games Live creator Tommy Tallarico on guitar, for a PBS special in 2010. The concert was performed and recorded in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Pontchartrain Center.
sented with immersive, fully-rendered environments and—increasingly—orchestral scores comparable to those of any Hollywood blockbuster. Video games have undergone a tremendous transformation in design and gaming style over the past 40-odd years, triggering corresponding changes in the role and production process for in-game music. The earliest games had no music per se, and if they featured sound at all it tended to be limited to a few beeps and bloops corresponding to particular events, such as vanquishing a challenge or succumbing to a foe. But by the mid-1980s, most console video games featured actual music along with reactive sound effects and gestures. Composer Nico Muhly mentioned in a recent NPR interview that the experience that best prepared him for handling the complex interaction of emotion, action, and music in an operatic work was playing Nintendo games: “The actions of my hands informed, in a strange way, the things I heard. Collect a coin, and a delighted glockenspiel sounds. Move from navigating a level above ground to one below ground, and the eager French chromaticism of the score changes to a spare, beat-driven minimal texture. Hit a star, and suddenly the score does a metric modulation. All of these things come to bear in a later musical education; I’m positive I understand how augmented chords change an emotional texture because of Nintendo music.” americanorchestras.org
As video games grew more complex into video games and their modern orchestral the 1990s, game music evolved from simple scores as bearing enormous potential for but endearing 8-bit tracks programmed the symphonic community: “I think gamwith only a few active voices to increasingly ers already love symphonic music, even if cinematic scores. Laura Karpman—a Juilthey don’t know it,” said Karpman when liard–trained composer we spoke recently. “They who is active both in the and the game developers “I think gamers already concert music world and appreciate, even crave, love symphonic music, as an Emmy Award-winthe drama—the heroism, even if they don’t know ning composer of music the tragedy that only a it,” says composer for film, television, and symphony can deliver. I Laura Karpman, who video games—has scored think, if pointed towards has composed music many popular games inclassical music, they for film, TV, and video cluding Everquest II and would feel the same way games. Halo 3, and she views about Strauss, Wagner,
Film and video-game composer Laura Karpman leading a recording session
Sibelius, Mahler, Stravinsky, Bartók, Brittendo console) was the first video game to ten, and many others.” feature synthesized electronic sounds that One of the video-game series that has functioned, convincingly enough, as an made the most impact in the development orchestral texture rather than something of video-game music is Japanese developer more akin to an electronic music box. Ever Square Enix’s flagship since, it was only a matter adventure/role-playing of time until the capabilsaga Final Fantasy. Even ity to engineer a full orfrom its humble 8-bit orchestral game score took igins, the series featured this advance to a logical excellent music from conclusion. composer Nobuo UeTwo pops shows that matsu, perhaps because have been getting a lot of unlike most early video attention are PLAY! and games, Final Fantasy told Video Games Live. These Minnesota Orchestra a long story in which shows are concert celDirector of Pops characters developed, ebrations of video games and Special Projects betrayed each other, and and their soundtracks— Lilly Schwartz has went on epic quests— composed by Karpman, overseen three soldhardly the part and parUematsu, and countless out performances of cel of early action-based others. Both shows feaVideo Games Live. games like Donkey Kong ture symphonic and cho“Since there are so or Super Mario Bros. The ral renditions of classic many new video games fourth installment in the and current video-game each year that contain Final Fantasy series (almusic along with projectorchestrated music, I though American gamed scenes from the games foresee this as a trend ers will remember it as and a healthy dose of inthat will only continue 1991’s Final Fantasy II, teractivity. These kinds of to grow.” on the 16-bit Super Ninconcerts tend to attract
Guitarist and Video Games Live host Tommy Tallarico and musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra perform under the direction of Jack Wall.
video-game fans showing up dressed as their favorite characters, with the lobby stocked with plenty of gaming entertainment. Video Games Live in particular includes segments where audience participants come onstage to try their hand at a few levels of the classic arcade-era game Frogger with the orchestra playing on cue where the in-game sounds would have been. Erin Kacenga Ozment, artistic administrator at the National Symphony Orchestra, says that the orchestra has performed both PLAY! and Video Games Live several times, each with great audience turnout. “In general, Video Games Live offers a more lighthearted, interactive experience, with audience participation onstage and front of house (game demos, costume contest, etc.). We’ve also performed programs themed around specific game series, such as Final Fantasy and, this summer, the newest incarnation, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Legend of Zelda. All the video-game programs we have performed have offered high-quality music and have been enthusiastically received by the audience, many of them first-time orchestra concert attend-
ees, with cheering and people leaping out of their seats. We have also enjoyed very positive reviews from bloggers in the gaming world,” says Ozment. Ozment also sees another upside to the recent glut of video-game concerts: “These sorts of collaborations can open the minds of individuals who may think that an orchestra, and live performance, has nothing to do with them. It is a reminder that music is a powerful medium and that a live orchestra provides a visceral experience they cannot get from a download. It makes an orchestra relevant to their lives. I don’t suggest that these first-time attendees are going to run to the box office and purchase a classical subscription package, but I do believe that these individuals leave the concert open to the idea of attending live performances in general. And that can only be good for the performing arts.” Minnesota Orchestra Director of Pops and Special Projects Lilly Schwartz has overseen three sold-out performances of Video Games Live, and she feels that show has made a positive impact on both audiences and her own organization: “The
Tony DeSare singer/pianist
A distinctly sensuous and understated pop voice performing standards from yesterday and today, plus unique originals. New show of contemporary standards debuting in 13/14 with songs by Stevie Wonder, Prince, Bob Marley, Michael McDonald, Journey, Carole King, The Bee Gees and more. 2012/2013 symphonic appearances include: Saratoga Performing Arts Center with The Philadelphia Orchestra Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Palm Beach Pops Grand Rapids Symphony
“Tony DeSare, an accomplished young singer who deserves to become a household name.” —Rick Rogers, The Oklahoman
www.PeterThrom.com firstname.lastname@example.org americanorchestras.org
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shows tend to sell out virally and do not require much traditional marketing. They also attract teens and twenty- to thirty-year-olds, which is considerably younger than our typical audiences. VGL and shows like it are a new way to introduce that generation to orchestrated music, and a more innovative way to get them in the hall. Since there are so many new video games each year that contain orchestrated music, I foresee this as a trend that will only continue and grow.”
Journey Composer Austin Wintory
The Journey Ahead
One of the most promising new video games featured at the Smithsonian’s recent exhibition of video games is Journey, a distillation of all that is forward-thinking in the video-game experience—an experience in which gameplay, art, and music all weave together on an almost operatic level. As of this writing, Journey has partnered with Video Games Live and became part of their shows in mid-August 2012. According to the game’s lead designer, Jenova Chen, “Journey is an interactive parable, an anonymous online adventure to experience a person’s life passage and their intersections with others.” The game uses no speech or text to tell its story, which begins as the player assumes control over a cloaked avatar, adrift in a vast and shifting desert. As the player traverses terrain tinged with alien beauty, he or she will interact with a narrative that is ambiguous and abstract, but at the same time surprisingly accessible and poignant. Composer Austin Wintory’s haunting, mystical score perfectly complements the game’s barren, frequently minimalistic spaces. To Win-
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Journey, scored by Austin Wintory, is less a video game than a great symphonic work with reactive visuals.
Offerings Guest Artist
2013—50th Anniversary Year! Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Berio’s Sinfonia—March, 2013 Boston Pops Christmas 2009, Summer 2011 Vienna Philharmonic—Zubin Mehta “...this performance was a triumph.” —Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph “...the Swingle Singers stood out, perfectly in tune, rhythmically flawless...” —Berio’s Sinfonia, II Giornale, Italy
Composers and conductors speak of Sonos Handbell Ensemble’s virtuosity, energy and ability to connect with the audiences. Orchestral programs include works by Scott Joplin, Bach, and Ludtke’s Christmas suite. Touring the US and Asia for 20 years, these masterful musicans are pioneers on the leading edge of handbell artistry. “Sonos has transformed the world of handbells and ringers everywhere. Rejoice!”—Grammy Award winning Composer Libby Larsen
tory, the point of technology is to return us to those values and experiences that precede technology: “For how ‘high-tech’ we were, this music is utterly unconcerned with technology. It is all about emotional meaning. This is part of what makes Journey itself so special. I think of it like a poem.” After spending ten minutes with Journey, it became apparent that one is not so much playing a somewhat low-key video game with a stunning musical score, so much as experiencing a great symphonic work with reactive visuals. The video-game industry seems to have reached an upper limit in terms of realism and gameplay, but is only beginning to plumb the depths that will lead to gaming’s maturation as an expressive art form. If orchestras continue to pay attention to the changing ways that people forge relationships with orchestral music, then the pops concerts of the future—and by association, the orchestras of the future—will be poised to engage an emerging audience.
Craicmore interlaces Celtic roots music, a perennial Pops audience favorite, with classical idioms in a fresh and exciting way. Orchestrator Luke Hannington, mentored by Dick Grove, Henry Mancini, and David Raksin, has composed lean, muscular arrangements for haunting and memorable tunes that have been handed down for centuries. “Celtic music that touches the heart, mind and soul.”—Flagstaff LIVE
Cra ig K nudse n • 510.549.1777 • c ra ig@k nudse nproduc tions.c o m w w w.k nudse nproduc tions.c om
DAN VISCONTI is a writer and composer whose works have been performed by orchestras both in the U.S. and abroad. He also directs the VERGE Ensemble, based in Washington, D.C. americanorchestras.org
OH WHAT A NIGHT! Billboard Hits Of the 1960’s ™ I HEAR A SYMPHONY, Motown’s Greatest Hits!™ I Heart the 80’s™ Mancini & Moonlight™ THE RAT PACK! A Symphonic Celebration™ Lights, Camera...the Oscars!™ PIANO MEN, The Music of Elton & Billy™ The Great American Songbook™ Swingin’ Holiday Celebration™ Coming to America™ Concert for Titanic™
Exceptional Artists, Exceptional Programming
THE MERRY WIDOW in Concert™
Announcing our new website and season catalog! (available online)
Broadway Pops International 780 Riverside Drive, Suite 10G New York, NY 10032 email@example.com 347.767.8126
Behind The Mask™ ROCK ON! Broadway™ Broadway A to Z, ABBA to LES MIZ™ Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration™ Fascinating Gershwin™ Lerner & Loewe’s Greatest Hits™ Broadway Salutes Bernstein & Sondheim™ Berlin on Broadway™ Kern Tribute featuring SHOW BOAT in Concert™ Broadway by Request™ Today’s Broadway™ Bohème to Broadway™ Broadway Dreams™
Guide to Symphony’s Pops Advertisers
The following paid listings have been supplied to Symphony by League of
American Orchestras business partners who represent pops attractions and conductors in the areas of pops performance. What follows does not imply
endorsement by the League of American Orchestras or Symphony. It is not
intended to be fully comprehensive, but to be a reference point for orchestra professionals charged with pops programming.
Coming to America™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
Dave Bennett’s “Clarinet Swing Kings” Center Stage Artists email@example.com centerstageartists.com
The Roots Agency
The Kingston Trio David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com Liz McComb Detroit Productions, Inc. email@example.com lizmccomb.com Cleveland-born singer & pianist Liz McComb (aka The Must-See of American Gospel Soul Music) is a world-class concert artist who regularly performs with symphony orchestras— including “Porgy & Bess” in its true spirit!
Jimmy Webb The Roots Agency firstname.lastname@example.org robinspielberg.com A true living legend of songwriting, multi-awardwinning Jimmy Webb performs his best-loved songs with pops. “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Galveston,” “Up, Up & Away,” “McArthur Park” and more. americanorchestras.org
Dave Bennett’s “Tribute to Benny Goodman” Center Stage Artists email@example.com centerstageartists.com Steve Lippia Andersen and Associates, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org andersenreps.com Peter Oprisko America’s Best Pop, Jazz, and Standards email@example.com peteroprisko.com The Rat Pack! A Swingin’ Celebration™ (16-piece big band version) Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Rat Pack Encore! David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com belenzon.com Sinatra, Bennett & Me David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com
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John Tesh Paradise Artists email@example.com tesh.com
Broadway A Day in the Life…Three Phantoms in Concert Returns! Monica Robinson LTD monicarobinsonLTD@gmail.com monicarobinsonltd.com The Phantoms take your audience on a humorous journey describing “a day in the life” of a Broadway star. As they are put through their paces in various Broadway “audition” scenarios, the Phantoms examine competition for roles, egos, and career choices, sharing extraordinary personal stories of memorable auditions with your audience.
An Evening with Rodgers & Hammerstein David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com Behind the Mask™ (The Music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Friends) Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
Broadway by Request™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Broadway Salutes Bernstein & Sondheim™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com The Broadway Tenors Ingenuity Productions LLC firstname.lastname@example.org ingenuityproductions.com Three of Broadway’s leading men in an unparalleled theatrical concert. “Individually, each is a spectacular artist; together they present an infinite and kaleidoscopic range of musical possibilities.” David Lindauer, The Capital
Kern Tribute featuring “Show Boat” in Concert™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
Today’s Broadway™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
Karen Mason David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com belenzon.com Rita Moreno David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com Peter Oprisko America’s Best Pop, Jazz, and Standards email@example.com peteroprisko.com Rodgers and Hammerstein Celebration™ (with Oscar Hammerstein, III) Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Lea Salonga David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com leasalonga.com
Laurie Gayle Stephenson and Steve Amerson Classic Concerts Productions firstname.lastname@example.org classiccp.com Dynamic Duo-Sensational Soloists! An inspiring Broadway Loves concert or a patriotic, Broadway Salute to the Troops performed by America’s Tenor, (Voice of the Medal of Honor Foundation) Steve Amerson and Broadway Star, (Phantom of the Opera) Laurie Gayle Stephenson. Artists own charts. No rental cost!
John Such Artist Management email@example.com bravobroadway.com
Lerner and Loewe’s Greatest Hits™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
David Burnham KMP Artists email@example.com kmpartists.com
Mary Ann Halpin
Broadway: Black and Blues Monica Robinson LTD monicarobinsonLTD@gmail.com monicarobinsonltd.com Your joint will be jumpin’ to the music of Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and more! Swinging Broadway from Ballads to the Blues, tap dancer Ted Louis Levy and Broadway star Capathia Jenkins lead a cast of four. Your audience will be singing and swinging in the aisles!
Broadway A to Z, ABBA to Les Miz™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
Jason Forbach, baritone KMP Artists email@example.com kmpartists.com Soloist for the NY Festival of Song Carnegie Hall; Las Vegas Philharmonic; Abilene Philharmonic; Boston Lyric Opera; and SemiFinalist (Metropolitan Opera National Council); and featured roles in Les Miserables (25th Anniversary) & Phantom of the Opera (Las Vegas).
Berlin on Broadway™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
Federico Mondelci, Saxophone & Conductor Lisa Sapinkopf Artists email@example.com federicomondelci.com Italian superstar plays Piazzolla, Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein, Ellington, Evans, Monk. “Brings a rich, jazzy appeal.” —The New York Times (CD of the Week). “Mesmerized every ear in the vicinity.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer Michael Moore Michael Moore Agency firstname.lastname@example.org jonathantessero.com Peter Nero email@example.com peternero.com Gerard Salonga David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com
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Rick Friend Silent Movie Concerts email@example.com silent-music.com Michael Londra Harmony Artists firstname.lastname@example.org harmonyartists.com The Peking Acrobats® IAI Presentations, Inc. email@example.com iaipresentations.com
Jonathan Tessero Michael Moore Agency firstname.lastname@example.org jonathantessero.com
Peter Throm Management, LLC email@example.com peterthrom.com
Steve Lippia Andersen and Associates, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org andersenreps.com
Peter Oprisko America’s Best Pop, Jazz, and Standards email@example.com peteroprisko.com
Michael Moschen David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com
Family Concerts A Symphony of Lasers David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com belenzon.com Beethoven Lives Upstairs Classical Kids Live! firstname.lastname@example.org classicalkidslive.com Carnaval Fantastique David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com belenzon.com Charlie Chaplin at the Symphony Dan Kamin’s Comedy Concertos firstname.lastname@example.org dankamin.com Charlie Chaplin Films with Orchestra Roy Export SAS email@example.com charliechaplin.com
Mary Ann Halpin
Chinese Acrobats of Hebei David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com
Symphonic Spectacular Peter Throm Management, LLC email@example.com symphonicspectacular.com Symphonic Spectacular – See the Music! is a symphonic concert featuring the world’s best known symphonic music enhanced with video imagery, stunning lighting and other visual effects, conducted by Michael Krajewski.
Laurie Gayle Stephenson and Steve Amerson Classic Concerts Productions firstname.lastname@example.org classiccp.com Dynamic Duo Sensational Soloists! Christmas/Holiday POPS with amazing vocalists, America’s Tenor, Steve Amerson and Broadway Star, (Phantom of the Opera) Laurie Gayle Stephenson. Artists own charts. No rental cost!
Swingin’ Holiday Celebration™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
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Jazz/Rock/Blues Almost Elton John starring Craig A. Meyer Harmony Artists firstname.lastname@example.org harmonyartists.com Broadway actor/ singer Craig A. Meyer’s uncanny ability to look and sound like the legendary star creates an evening that truly celebrates the music of the famed pianist.
Frankie Avalon Harmony Artists email@example.com harmonyartists.com A true superstar whose career spans three generations in music, television, and movies. With charted records too numerous to list, don’t miss the chance to bring a legend to your audience.
Chris Brubeck Brubeck Music Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org chrisbrubeck.com Keith David celebrates Sam Cooke & Nat “King” Cole Ingenuity Productions LLC email@example.com ingenuityproductions.com Award-winning actor Keith David relives the musical majesty of Sam Cooke and Nat “King” Cole. Mr. David has distinguished himself in a career of over 200 films and stage productions.
Tony DeSare Peter Throm Management, LLC firstname.lastname@example.org peterthrom.com Tony DeSare, singer/pianist, performing today’s pop favorites, timeless standards, and engaging originals.
Ronnie Kole Morrow Management Inc. email@example.com ronniekole.com “No one can express the talented pianist and entertainer you are. What an outstanding solo performance you gave with the Gulf Coast Symphony in the Beau Rivage Resort/Casino’s theater.” —CEO of the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, MS
Fascinating Gershwin™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com The Great American Songbook™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com Hotel California Harmony Artists firstname.lastname@example.org harmonyartists.com Blending extraordinary vocals and musical talents, Hotel California faithfully and accurately reproduces the sound of The Eagles. This remarkable group brings this timeless music into the new millennium.
Matt Irwin Vincent Soyez
Ron Davis’ Symphronica email@example.com symphronica.com Symphronica fuses jazz and the orchestra into new, tuneful, groovy music. Original. Pops friendly. Symphronica integrates renowned pianist Ron Davis’ jazz trio into the orchestral palette. A sound new feeling.
Liz McComb Detroit Productions, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org lizmccomb.com Cleveland-born singer & pianist Liz McComb (aka The Must-See of American Gospel Soul Music) is a world-class concert artist who regularly performs with symphony orchestras— including “Porgy & Bess” in its true spirit!
Peter Nero email@example.com peternero.com Peter Oprisko America’s Best Pop, Jazz, and Standards firstname.lastname@example.org peteroprisko.com Piano Men, The Music of Elton and Billy™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com David Pomeranz David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com Paul Posnak Plays Gershwin Lisa Sapinkopf Artists email@example.com paulposnak.com Molly Ringwald KMP Artists firstname.lastname@example.org kmpartists.com Rock On! Broadway™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
Federico Mondelci, Saxophone & Conductor Lisa Sapinkopf Artists firstname.lastname@example.org federicomondelci.com Italian superstar plays Piazzolla, Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein, Ellington, Evans, Monk. “Brings a rich, jazzy appeal.” —The New York Times (CD of the Week). “Mesmerized every ear in the vicinity.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
Spider Saloff KMP Artists email@example.com kmpartists.com
The Music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Ingenuity Productions LLC firstname.lastname@example.org ingenuityproductions.com Hear the songs of Jersey Boys® by the actual musicians who made them hits! The Hit Men also relive their songs with Elton John, the Shonedells, The Critters and more.
Bohème to Broadway™ Broadway Pops International email@example.com broadwaypops.com
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Secret Agent Man David Belenzon Management, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org belenzon.com The Swingle Singers Knudsen Productions email@example.com swinglesingers.com
Broadway Dreams™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Umi Garrett David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com belenzon.com
Lights, Camera……the Oscars!™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com
Janice Martin email@example.com janicemartin.com Multi-talented aerial violinist, soprano and pianist Janice Martin performs light classics and pops. Has performed as soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and more.
The Merry Widow in Concert!™ Broadway Pops International firstname.lastname@example.org broadwaypops.com Robert Michaels Andersen and Associates, Inc. email@example.com andersenreps.com Federico Mondelci, Saxophone & Conductor Lisa Sapinkopf Artists firstname.lastname@example.org federicomondelci.com
Peter Nero email@example.com peternero.com Thomas Pandolfi, pianist firstname.lastname@example.org thomaspandolfi.com “Absolutely spectacular, we’ve got to have him back,” presenters and audiences declare! Charismatic, mesmerizing…Thomas’ unique, passionate artistry has a special way of communicating across the stage in an unforgettable way!
The Lee Trio David Belenzon Management, Inc. email@example.com belenzon.com
Paul Posnak Plays Gershwin Lisa Sapinkopf Artists firstname.lastname@example.org paulposnak.com Three works for piano and orchestra— Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto, and “I Got Rhythm” variations— which he played with the National Symphony and Marvin Hamlisch. “Remarkably like having Gershwin himself.” —Washington Post
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Los Angeles Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira had two of his works premiered at Walt Disney Concert Hall this past spring.
by Ian VanderMeulen
Orchestra musicians who compose draw on their knowledge of the symphonic canon, bolstering the creative spirit of their own ensembles.
larinetist Joel Schekman has been a “closet composer” since his early teens. “When I was in high school I had a lot of jazz and rock musician friends who were challenging me to be more creative,” says Schekman, now with Michigan’s Grand Rapids Symphony. “I think they thought, ‘You’re a classical musician, you’re not really creative.’ So maybe I’ve always had a nagging feeling that I should be doing something creative and not simply recreative.” Though he continued to play around with composition in high school and college, Schekman got an unprecedented opportunity to flex his creative muscles last fall when he collaborated on ArtPrize Triptych with two of his orches-
tra colleagues, percussionist Shannon Wood—who like Schekman had never composed for orchestra—and principal oboist Alexander Miller. The view held by Schekman’s nonclassical cohorts typifies a stereotype about the role of classical performers as slaves to the score, mere conduits of the intentions of great composers. But the Grand Rapids trio are not the only orchestral musicians who had a busy 2011-12 season as composers. In April, Los Angeles Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira’s Double-Bass Quartet premiered at Walt Disney Concert Hall, closely followed by his Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Orchestra in early May. The Colorado Symphony’s January premiere of timpanist William Hill’s Symphony No. 3 was just his latest of some 100-plus works. “One of
my proudest things is that pieces of mine have been done on every series that the symphony offers,” says the 30-year CSO veteran, “mostly on masterworks concerts but also pops concerts, education concerts, family concerts.” These composer musicians have taken a variety of paths. Stacey Berk, principal oboist at the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, has master’s degrees in oboe performance and composition from Western Illinois University. But such formal training is not necessarily a requirement. Hill’s training is almost exclusively as a classical timpanist, but he maintains an active career as a jazz drummer and bandleader, while teaching composition at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, a post he claimed largely on the strength of his composing output for the symphony
Colorado Symphony. Similarly, Miller says he had no formal training either. “But I would always be knocking on the doors of theory professors’ offices, asking for feedback,” he says of his graduate years at Juilliard. One can’t help but wonder if certain instruments lend themselves to a composer’s mindset. Of the seven musicians interviewed for this article, three are percussionists and three oboe players. For Berk and Miller, sitting in the middle of the ensemble allows them to pick out just about any instrumental voice from the orchestral texture. Meanwhile, as the rhythmic backbone of the orchestra, Wood points out, percussionists often spend a significant amount of time studying orchestral scores to learn how their part fits into everything else that’s going on. Either way, the constant exposure to other orchestral works provides a wealth of experience to draw on, and the composers are also able to solicit feedback on their work from the instrumentalists they sit next to all the time. The other play-
ers, in return, get the rush of having been part of the creative process. It’s the type of creative partnership that can help ratchet all music-making up a notch. “I’ve never known a composer who, if something doesn’t work, hasn’t said to change it,” says David Lockington, music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony, a composer and cellist in his own right. “I find that very instructive because we often hold up the score as the be-all-end-all that has to be held up slavishly. But each generation will define the music in a different way depending on their influences. There’s no definitive interpretation.” Michigan Trifecta
The ArtPrize Triptych project emerged out of an earlier piece Lockington had written for the Grand Rapids-based ArtPrize contest in 2009. When ArtPrize requested a follow-up, Lockington wanted to take things to another level by commissioning three musicians in the orchestra to each contribute a movement to a larger work. Principal oboist Alexander Miller was an
obvious choice. His track record as a composer already included a number of premieres with the Grand Rapids Symphony and other orchestras around the country, earning him the label “unofficial composer-in-residence” from his colleagues. Let Freedom Ring, his setting of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, has been performed by the likes of Bill Clinton, Danny Glover, and James Earl Jones since its premiere in 1998. But Schekman and Wood, two other musicians on the orchestra’s artistic advisory committee, soon became involved as well, and the three composers agreed on some common elements to tie the movements together: a piece of thematic material that would start mid-range, then go high, then low; and three chords—one chosen by each—that they all had to use. From there, they went their separate ways. “I think I was slightly nervous because I’d never written for orchestra,” says Wood, who nonetheless had already one Percussive Arts Society Award in 2006 for a percussion ensemble piece. “But I
Left to right: Grand Rapids Symphony Associate Conductor John Varineau, and percussionist Shannon Wood, clarinetist Joel Schekman, and oboist Alexander Miller speak to the audience prior to the premiere of ArtPrize Triptych, which included a movement by each musician.
just started letting the ideas flow, talking with instrumentalists in the orchestra to learn as much as I could about their instruments.” For both Wood and Schekman, the Triptych project turned out to be a huge boost for their composing careers. At the time we spoke, Wood was finishing writing out parts for his new Concerto for Section Percussion and Orchestra (“Three Shades of Lyricism”) set to be premiered by the Grand Rapids Symphony on September 21. Based on early previews, Lockington has noticed a “dramatic leap” in the maturity of Wood’s writing from the Triptych to the current piece. “The first piece had a kind of organic unfolding where the layering was somewhat predictable,” he says. “In this new piece, the instrumental styling is much more virtuosic, the phrase lengths aren’t as obvious, there’s a greater breadth of gestural dynamism. There’s also a subtlety to the form.” Schekman, meanwhile, spent his summer working on a five-movement piece for chamber ensemble titled Forest Music, which he then took to Bard College’s Composer-Conductor Program for feedback and instruction in conducting. His success with the Triptych has also inspired him to dust off some of his older works in the hope of having them heard. “I’ve Conductor and written a lot of stuff composer David that hasn’t been perLockington formed,” he says, “so now I guess I’m feeling a little more ambitious.” Lockington attributes these new opportunities to the initiative of the players themselves, holding up longtime friend and Colorado Symphony timpanist William Hill as another example of a composer who “keeps plugging away.” The two met in the 1980s when Lockington joined the orchestra—then called the Denver Symphony—as as-
Colorado Symphony timpanist William Hill—on Egyptian doumbek—performs his Full Moon at Giza, with his daughter Nadya on violin, as part of a “World Beat” concert he organized for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, which also performed Hill’s Seven Abstract Miniatures under the direction of David Lockington.
sistant principal cellist. Lockington and a cellist friend from the symphony formed a side project, a chamber orchestra called The Academy of St. John in the Wilderness, and asked Hill to write a piece for the orchestra to premiere. The result was Seven Abstract Miniatures, a work that reflects Hill’s eclectic taste and affinity for the early modernists: the first movement intersperses sections of Ravelian fluteand-harp lyricism against a tonally ambiguous compound meter swing. But Hill says his composing career got a major jolt in 2006, when he performed his own Percussion Concerto with the Colorado Symphony under the direction of Peter Oundjian. “We had three-minute standing ovations pretty much every night,” Hill says. “So after that it seemed like the orchestra felt we should have a regular thing going.” The orchestra premiered Hill’s Symphony No. 3 in January under the direction of Larry Rachleff and has commissioned another major work for performance during the 2013-14 season. Balboa to Birdsong
Los Angeles Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira likens his seat at the back of the orchestra to that of a catcher in baseball, able to see everything that’s going on, which may contribute to his success as a
Musicians see their experience performing in an orchestra as integral to their success as composers. “Playing in an orchestra every day—or for that matter playing regularly in a jazz group—really gives you great perspective,” says Colorado Symphony timpanist William Hill.
composer. A Queens, N.Y. native, Pereira joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007 after a decade playing in New York, and has recently been making a name for himself as a composer on the orchestra’s Green Umbrella new-music series. Pereira, who in addition to performing and composing teaches percussion at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School and at his alma mater, Juilliard, is a tinkerer, ever in search of new sounds on percussion. “If I’m in the percussion room experimenting or just trying stuff out I sometimes get six ideas for other pieces,” he says. “I don’t need to go run and write them out right away but they might come back somewhere down the road.” Yet Pereira also draws inspiration from symphony
a range of non-musical sources, from The Godfather: Part II to Dante’s Purgatorio, to Balboa’s discovery of the Pacific Ocean. But these references are never a starting point. Rather, his non-musical research aids him in more perfectly structuring his pieces. “My ideal music is really tightly woven together,” Pereira says, recalling in particular the careful attention he paid to having his Concerto for Percussion and Chamber Orchestra follow the arc of Balboa’s life story. “So the reason for doing all this other research on the side or trying to draw these parallels is a way for me to strengthen the form.” Pereira’s percussionist peers Hill and Wood express similar concern for the architectural integrity of their works. For Hill, the key is plenty of preparation— usually at least a month of pre-composition—and having a stopwatch handy at his writing desk. “If I’m writing a 30-minute symphony in three movements, I have a really good idea that the first movement is, say, eleven minutes, something like that,” he says. “I know how long it takes to go through this harmonic pattern, whether I’m going to repeat it. It’s very important to me that the form, the architecture flows in an intelligent way.” The wind players, by contrast, by-and-
large take a more thematic or melodic approach. “I spend a long time in the sketching process where I won’t worry so much about mapping out the piece and then starting to write,” Miller says. “I spend much more time just reading things or studying other scores or writing out random ideas. I probably write ten to twenty times more music than actually gets into the finished piece. I’m an endless sketcher.” For Stacey Berk, principal oboist at the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra in Stevens Point, a long sketching or “precomposition” period is necessitated by her schedule, which also includes teaching oboe and composition at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Berk says she starts vocally, singing various themes and cataloguing them in a sketchbook, or working out any programmatic elements. When the school year is over, she’s able to sit down with the material in a more focused way and pull it all together. This method works particularly well for commissions that have a long lead time, such as her ballet setting of Alice in Wonderland commissioned by the Point Dance Ensemble and premiered by that group and the Central Wisconsin Symphony in 2008. When we spoke in late June, Berk was finishing up a new orches-
tral arrangement of her Avian Suite, originally written for wind quintet, which the CWSO was set to premiere October 13 on its “Avian Fantasy” program. Hearing an orchestra perform is an integral part of the process for any budding composer, and for that reason, many musicians sit out first performances of their own works. Miller, Schekman, and Wood all opted to listen from the seats during the premiere of the ArtPrize Triptych to better hear textures and, if necessary, make notes for revision in their scores. Hill makes his decisions in part depending on a new piece’s scope. For the premiere of his Symphony No. 3, which clocks in at 30 minutes, sitting out was a no-brainer, not just because of the piece’s length and complexity, but also to help ensure that electronic pickups employed on some of the string instruments were turned on and off at the right time. Performing one’s own piece, however, can have its advantages. “I was probably less nervous being in the orchestra performing than I would’ve been just up in the audience listening,” Berk says. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s Schekman can certainly relate, having felt “on pins and needles,” during the first couple of rehearsals before the orchestra started to feel solid and really jell. Indeed, for an accomplished musician, leaving one’s own piece in the hands of another performer—particularly on the same instrument—seems to require a certain leap of faith. When writing his percussion concerto, Pereira says he wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from soloist Colin Currie. “Colin is a great player and that’s why I wrote it for him, but I’d never actually worked with him,” Pereira says. “We worked a whole day before the first rehearsal and of course he’ll do anything I ask, but it’s totally different from the way I would play it.”
Oboist and composer Ben Hausmann performs with the Seattle Symphony. americanorchestras.org
For this group of musicians, performing in an orchestra is integral to their success as composers. “I don’t try to secondguess other composers,” Hill says, “but playing in an orchestra every day—or for that matter playing regularly in a jazz group—really gives you a great perspective not just on how difficult it is to play and play really well, but also on how cluttered the music can become. Like a visual
again. “You can’t get that in school or in a textbook or anything,” says Ben Hausmann, principal oboist of the Seattle Symphony, who will have a piece for oboe and strings performed on one of his orchestra’s chamber programs on April 26. “And it’s ongoing. When you’ve earned your colleagues’ respect they’ll really give you the time. They’ll play chords for me and tell me, ‘Well, this chord doesn’t work because of our instrumental timbres.’ I just don’t know it as well as they do.” For Miller, who has a similar relationship with his colleagues in the Grand Rapids Symphony, such collaboration makes the composing process much more personal. “The one time I wrote a piece for another orchestra, Remix in D for the Modesto Symphony, I A scene from Alice in Wonderland—a collaboration between was having trouble with the the Stevens Point-based Central Wisconsin Symphony concept of writing for abOrchestra and the Point Dance Ensemble—for which CWSO stract instruments because Principal Oboist Stacey Berk composed the score I was so used to writing John Morser
artist—if you mix all the colors together you just get gray.” With regard to technical difficulty, Schekman says he aims for a balance between being not too taxing, but also having enough of a “positive challenge” to motivate musicians. This “insider” view is supplemented by an invaluable resource: the input of the talented musicians they perform with time and time
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Central Wisconsin Symphony Principal Oboe Stacey Berk
for people that I knew,” he says. “I don’t think I’m writing a part for the piccolo, I think I’m writing a part for Judy [Kemph], who is my friend, who I know. So I think people’s personalities creep into the way I write for certain instruments.” Miller is currently working on a new concerto based on Flaubert’s Madame Bovary for Grand Rapids Symphony Principal Cellist Alicia Eppinga. Helen M. Thompson (1908 –1974), a passionate advocate for symphonic music and American orchestras, was the League’s first executive director.
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Miller, Schekman, and Wood all give partial credit for their success in Grand Rapids to this creative spirit, as well as Lockington’s support. Wood tells of a musician acquaintance who had expressed doubt about similar things happening at his own, much larger, orchestra. Wood hopes larger orchestras in particular “reconsider taking a look at what talent might be local, to give composers in the orchestra a chance,” citing Pereira’s success in Los Angeles as an example. Other orchestras seem to be already answering that call. In December the San Francisco Symphony will present a new work by Assistant Concertmaster Mark Volkert titled Pandora. And the Seattle Symphony’s April 26 chamber program featuring Hausmann’s work will also include pieces written by two other musicians in the orchestra: Principal Bassist Jordan Anderson, and Principal Bassoonist Seth Krimsky. As these musicians continue to pursue composing opportunities, it seems natural to wonder at the difficulty of their balancing act. But in reality, juggling multiple gigs—careers, even—is simply a way of life for many musicians. “I don’t really separate anything,” says Hill of his eclectic musical lifestyle of classical timpani, composing, teaching, and jazz drummer, though he tries to plan his career pragmatically. He notes, for example, that for most of his three-decade career he’s spent his summers performing at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but recently dropped that gig from his calendar to free up more time for composing. Miller sees a certain degree of freedom in such a balancing act. “I get to choose exactly how much I want to be involved as a composer,” he says. “I get a lot of requests that I turn down just because I only want to be working on stuff that I’m really, really passionate about. I suppose in a way it maintains that kind of freshness that I felt during my school days where the only times I do something related to composing is when I’m incredibly passionate about it. It’s never a job.” Says Berk, “I get to teach, which I love. I get to perform; I love to compose. I get to do all the things I love to do.” IAN VANDERMEULEN is assistant editor of Symphony. americanorchestras.org
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In the wake of the financial crisis, are European orchestras becoming more like our own? A.J. Goldmann surveys the landscape.
AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
In June, Poland’s Warsaw Chamber Opera performed Mozart’s Requiem under a banner stating “Minister, Only You Can Save the Chamber Opera” to protest governmental budget cuts.
late June, the Warsaw Chamber Opera in Poland made headlines by performing Mozart’s Requiem to protest governmental budget cuts of over 23 percent. In front of the culture ministry, the orchestra, soloists, and choir played the famous funeral mass underneath a banner that read “Minister, Only You Can Save the Chamber Opera.” Absent government subsidies, the 50-year-old company, famous for its annual festival of Mozart’s operas, may close later this year. symphony
The touring Mahler Chamber Orchestra, posing here for a photo in Baden-Baden, is entirely musician-run.
erlands, Italy allocates half of its cultural funds to fourteen “lyrical foundations,” among them the Teatro alla Scala and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In the U.K.’s mixed model, the majority of funding for orchestras comes from earned income and private investment funds; they also receive some public funding, with politicians deciding on the size of the arts budget but relying on a semiautonomous arts council to allocate funds. Recent cuts have left most orchestras with about 20 percent of their budget funded by government subsidies. From an American perspective, government support for the arts may look high all throughout Western Europe. But as
Christian Thielemann leads the Dresden Staatskapelle in concert.
In the United States, musician strikes, bankruptcy filings, and reorganization efforts at orchestras have been in the news since the start of the financial crisis. In the past four years, the list includes orchestras in Honolulu, Detroit, Syracuse, Louisville, New Mexico, and Philadelphia. Now the effects of the financial crisis on orchestras are beginning to be felt in Europe, where arts organizations have traditionally depended on generous subsidies from local and national governments. In continental Europe, government support normally accounts for 60 percent to 90 percent of most orchestras’ revenues. It’s a level of support practically unimaginable in the United States. Roughly speaking, German orchestras traditionally have enjoyed the strongest support, with local governments as the principal source of public support, providing an average of over 80 percent of orchestra budgets. In the Netherlands, after the government sets the general budget, it relies on an independent council to determine which projects merit support, and those recommendations are submitted to a government minister. Until recently, Dutch orchestras received as much as 80 percent of their funds from the government, but recent drastic cuts have thrown the situation into disarray. In Italy, there has been a loss of government support over several years; according to Newsweek (7/11/11), the government cut the annual cultural budget by 50 percent during the preceding six years. With fewer major orchestras than Germany and the Neth-
“I’ve never seen a situation like this in Holland before,” says Rotterdam Philharmonic Managing Director Hans Waege of the current financial crisis.
Jan Nast, director of the Dresden Staatskapelle, says government funding for the arts in Germany has not decreased, although it has remained stagnant for far too long.
For this article, I spoke with representatives from orchestras in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and the U.K. about the financial downturn as well as broader cultural changes affecting their sector. Several orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, declined interview requests. Speaking with representatives from the four countries, I got a variety of responses and opinions based on the differences in funding structures of the orchestras in question. However, many agreed on the need for orchestras to become increasingly innovative, both in terms of programming and in generating income. In the wake of governmental cuts to the arts, such as those experienced by the U.K. and the Netherlands, Europe’s orchestras are beginning to appreciate the need for greater private investment and revenue. But many contend that forcing completely new funding models on the arts without first creating a culture of corporate giving is unfair. Some see the budget cuts to culture as an ultimatum about the usefulness or relevance of music to society at large, and are stressing the need for more innovative programming. Germany: Mergers and Regional Differences
In musically rich Germany, most orchestras continue to be funded handsomely, both in affluent regions like Bavaria and in economically challenged cities like Berlin and Leipzig. A major slice of the German musical scene is made up of orchestras founded and maintained by state-run radio stations. The most significant example of this in the U.S. was the NBC Symphony, which was led by Arturo Toscanini between 1937 and 1954. The most worrisome development in
League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen points out, “Though direct federal subsidy in the U.S. is small compared to Europe, federal tax policy that incentivizes charitable giving has helped orchestras build a culture of philanthropy and individual support.” In a chapter of his 2012 book The Perilous Life of Symphony Orchestras, Robert Flanagan examines European arts funding structures and compares them to the American system. There is nothing in Europe akin to the culture of private philanthropy that exists in the U.S. Private donations account for 20 percent of the income of U.S. orchestras. By contrast, Flanagan’s figures indicate that private support to arts and culture in Europe between 2000 and 2005 ranged from 0.13 percent in Bulgaria to 6.5 percent in the U.K. He concludes that aside from differences in the levels of government support, the challenges faced by U.S. and European orchestras are identical. Across the board, orchestras need to face harsh realities, including an aging audience profile, declining attendance, and increases in guest artist fees. The figures that Flanagan cites suggest that European orchestras perform worse economically than Europe’s their American counorchestras terparts, in terms of are beginning generating income to appreciate from concerts, broadthe need for casts, and recordings. greater private That most foreign investment orchestras can count and revenue. on significant govBut many ernment subsidies contend explains their relathat forcing tive financial stability completely during the crisis. Flanew funding nagan argues, howmodels on the ever, that U.S. orchesarts without tras also benefit from first creating indirect government a culture of support in the form corporate of tax expenditures. giving is unfair. Although tax benefits for supporting the arts exist in much of Europe, Flanagan maintains that “they appear to be limited by regulations that have no parallel in the United States,” and he predicts that deductions may become more important to foreign countries in the future, in light of recent challenges to direct governmental support of arts and culture.
In July, the Staatskapelle Dresden played a Klassik Picknick concert outdoors in front of Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden.
Germany is the planned merger of the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra’s SWR Symphony Baden-Baden/ Freiburg and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. Pierre Boulez—who has led the SWR in performances of his own works— and Michael Gielen, the orchestra’s conductor emeritus, have spoken out against the merger. “To reduce two orchestras without really knowing how is illogical, irresponsible and will amount to nothing,” Boulez stated in a June 2012 YouTube video. Despite such advocacy, the SWR Broadcasting Council, which makes funding decisions for the orchestras, voted 3 to 1 in June to merge the two orchestras for budgetary reasons. While Germany’s other radio orchestras have been less directly affected than the SWR, the developments in southwest Germany mean musicians are not taking their jobs for granted. “The musicians are aware of what they have and they are grateful,” explains Stephan Gehmacher, manager of the Munich-based Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Germany’s most famous radio orchestra. Gehmacher cites touring cutbacks in the U.S. due to the low euro-dollar exchange rate and the difficulty of finding sponsors. He says touring in France, Spain, and Italy has also become more difficult but that the situation in Munich is stable. “We are in the very lucky position not to suffer from any cuts,” he explains, adding that the government grants for orchestras in Munich have not been increased, despite salary hikes, meaning less money for artistic planning. After a slight downturn in 2008, Munich rebounded in the second half of 2009. In order to cope with rising costs, however, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra was forced to raise ticket prices slightly. Then again, explains Gehmacher, such a solution was possible because “the crisis has not reached Bavaria at all.” As of 2010, Munich’s unsymphony
Filarmonica della Scala spokesman Paolo Besana says the economic downturn led to “a basic change in the philosophy” of the orchestra. “Now, it’s very important for us to show that we’re doing something for our city and our country.” americanorchestras.org
the prestige of Dresden. He called it a source of pride to all Dresdeners, including those who never set foot in the Semperoper, the Staatskapelle’s home for concerts, ballets, and operas. Nast praises the Dresden musicians for their efficiency in handling a taxing performance schedule, which includes an astonishing 260 opera and ballet performances and around 80 concerts per year. “The efficiency of the musicians is a good argument for politicians. They see that this is a model that works,” says Nast, adding that the concerts sell out more consistently than the operas or ballets. The Staatskapelle’s 2013 American tour will be smaller than in the past, with only a handful of dates in Washington, Chicago, and New York. “The U.S. market is important for worldwide recognition, even if we lose money,” he explains. The 2012 tour doesn’t have a direct sponsor, although Nast explains that such a tour would likely be impossible without the orchestra’s main sponsor, Volkswagen.
positive aspects,” suggests orchestra spokesman Paolo Besana. “Classical music needs to show that it is necessary for society.” The downturn has led, Besana says, to “a basic change in the philosophy” of the orchestra. “In the short term, we need the money of our sponsor. But sponsors come and go. Now, it’s very important for us to show that we’re doing something for our city and our country,” he adds, citing a new series of open rehearsals that raise money for charity. Like the Filarmonica, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra—a touring orchestra based in Berlin—is vulnerable to a volatile market. The orchestra, also founded by Abbado, has existed since 1997 and is entirely musicianrun. Although it receives no state subsidies, it is funded through 2013 by a “cultural ambassador” grant from the E.U., which covers a substantial amount of its operating costs. Annette zu Castell, president of the orchestra’s association and a first violinist, says that while it has been more difficult for the orchestra to get the favorable bookings they used to easily secure from promoters, the financial crisis has spurred them on to further development. “We need to be excellent. We need to offer new sounds. We can’t become lazy and spoiled,” she says.
Private orchestras, which don’t receive government subsidies, are the minority in Europe. These entities are also learning to cope with new financial realities. The Filarmonica della Scala, the orchestra of the famed Milan opera house, was founded in 1982 by Claudio Abbado, making it Italy’s first private orchestra of the modern era. The orchestra performs about 70 concerts a season and has a modest operating budget of 7 million euros, a sum made up evenly of funds from their corporate sponsor, UniCredit Group, ticket sales, and broadcasting and tours. Private funding means the orchestra was unaffected by recent cuts at La Scala, which receives about 40 percent of its budget from the government. “I think the financial crisis held some
Netherlands: Some Orchestras Will Shrink
Italy’s Filarmonica della Scala performing with Daniel Harding at La Scala
employment stood at 4.7 percent, well below the national average of 6.6 percent. While affluent Munich may still be in a position to afford its culture, the financially troubled city of Berlin is not. In 2007, the city’s debt totaled 60 billion euros; in September 2011, unemployment was at 12.7 percent, which was a fifteenyear low for a city that has long been used to financial worries. Gehmacher finds it commendable that the German capital— home to eight symphony orchestras and three opera houses—continues to invest so greatly in the arts. “It’s good for the city. The orchestra is an ambassador for the city. As long as we find an audience for what we do and we do the right thing for the audience, every euro that we spend for an orchestra is well spent. We just have to be sure that what we do is relevant for society,” he says. Germany’s tradition of great opera orchestras has hardly been affected by the financial downturn. Jan Nast, director of the Dresden Staatskapelle, resident orchestra of the Saxon State Opera and one of Germany’s top orchestras, says that the situation in Dresden is stable, although “no one can be completely safe.” According to Nast, government funding has not decreased, although it has remained stagnant for far too long. The 2011-12 season saw the first increase in a decade, but the additional funds have only kept pace with rising wages. The orchestra’s ability to attract top talent hasn’t suffered, though, since A-level talent is willing to forgo high fees in order to perform with the prestigious ensemble. “They are glad to come here,” Nast explains. Similarly, he suggests that funding has remained at a high level precisely because the orchestra enhances
It is difficult to imagine a starker contrast to Germany than its western neighbor, the Netherlands. Two years ago, the national government in the Netherlands announced that it was slashing funding for the arts by 25 percent—cuts that took effect early this fall. Average cuts for symphony orchestras have been 30 percent. This was something new in a prosperous country with a rich music tradition. “I’ve never seen a situation like this in Holland before,” said Hans Waege, managing director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. The cuts amount to a referendum about the government’s responsibility to fund culture, and a call for cultural programs to rely more on private enterprise and ticket sales. Holland’s best-known orchestras—the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Rotterdam Philharmonic—have been less affected than other ensembles throughout the Netherlands, many of which will either disappear, reconfigure, or survive in much smaller and less active configurations. The Rotterdam Philharmonic—whose previous music directors include Edo De
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“Over a threeyear-period, we’re all being asked to take a reduction of something like 10 or 11 percent,” says David Whelton, managing director of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra.
strengthen the link to community and become “more alert, more flexible, more active, more innovative.” Rotterdam is open to reforms, says Waege, including renegotiating musicians’ contracts for greater efficiency and flexibility. Great Britain: Cost Control
Like the Netherlands, the British government has also slashed cultural funding recently. However, orchestras haven’t been as hard-hit as some other cultural sectors, such as theater and dance. “Over a three-year-period, we’re all being asked to take a reduction of something like 10 or 11 percent,” says David Whelton, managing director of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. “Given that the government was asking other sectors to reduce by 30 percent, I think it’s not as difficult a situation as it might be,” he said. Whelton was referring to the percentage that Arts Council England—the national agency that distributes public money to the arts—slashed in 2010. London’s orchestras rely far less on public funding than their European counterparts, and currently receive about 20 percent of their budget from government subsidies. “When you have a structure like that, the other 80 percent comes from box-office and sponsorship—and in those areas, of course, we’re all vulnerable to the economic downturn,” Whelton continues. The Philharmonia hasn’t had to lay off musicians or reduce salaries, and the orchestra’s ability to fund new commissions and to book guest artists has not been di-
Scenes from the “Universe of Sound” installation at London’s Science Museum, featuring the Philharmonia Orchestra
Waart, Valery Gergiev, and Yannick NézetSéguin—receives roughly two-thirds of its subsidies from the city government and onethird from the national government. At the Concertgebouw, the numbers are closer to 50/50. “The government basically decided that [the Concertgebouw] was untouchable, so they will only lose a few percentages,” Waege says, adding that the decision to spare Rotterdam dramatic cuts was arrived at differently. Its continued funding comes at the expense of the Residentie Orchestra, based in The Hague, which will shrink to a chamber formation. According to Waege, such decisions were largely based on the orchestras’ international reputations. Government cuts to Holland’s two major international orchestras total in the hundreds of thousands of euros, not the millions. Waege says that Rotterdam and Concertgebouw are much more tied to the general economic climate, because they “have the largest part of their budget from private funding, ticket sales, and international touring. They are more dependent on their own income and on market conditions that are now less favorable.” He calls the touring market in Spain and the U.K. “quite problematic,” citing less money now in the international concert halls. Waege adds that the financial crisis has accelerated a preexisting general trend of fewer tickets being sold. Ticket sales in Rotterdam have remained high, although a greater number of cheaper tickets are being sold. Dismaying as the cuts are, Waege says he hopes that the changed reality will serve as a wake-up call: “Dutch orchestras haven’t been performing well enough, and that goes for the whole community.” He says these new challenges show that orchestras need to respond more to the Government needs of audiences cuts to and embrace innovaHolland’s tions similar to those two major being undertaken in international Germany and the orchestras—the U.K. He mentions Concertgebouw the need to offer and the a broader range of Rotterdam concerts—which for Philharmonic— Rotterdam includes total in the film music and clashundreds of sical club nights—in thousands of order to reach new euros, not the listeners. Orchestras, millions. he stresses, need to
minished, since the Philharmonia pays for these from its endowment fund. Endowment funds are common for U.K. orchestras, which rely on a mix of public support, private investment, and earned revenue. Whelton adds that the orchestra has also raised substantial revenue via more active fundraising since the cuts were announced in 2010—from gala concerts by the orchestra’s trustees, and via income from a digital production company, Rite Digital, which created and marketed projects such as this year’s Universe of Sound: The Planets for London’s Science Museum. All in all, Whelton views the situation with guarded optimism. Audience attendance is still robust, although he worries that the length of the recession could “damage people’s confidence in spending money and coming to concerts. So that’s something that we are aware of as a potential problem.” Whelton notes that while ticket sales are still strong, people are buying small subscription series or not going for the top-price tickets. “Music fans still want to come to concerts, but they simply have less money,” he explains. The recession has also affected the Philharmonia’s international touring schedule, due to new financial realities in Italy, Spain, and Greece. “In years gone by, each of those countries was an important partner for us in terms of giving concerts,” says Whelton. “But because of the collapse of the euro they are no longer allowed to invite as many guest orchestras.” He adds, however, that the Philharmonia’s American tour in November 2012 was not affected, affirming for him that the demand for great music persists despite new financial realities. A.J. GOLDMANN, a writer and critic based in Berlin, is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Gramophone, and Opera News.
Tomes Tweets by Heidi Waleson
The changing face of program notes.
A young Playbill reader at the San Francisco Symphony
n the 2003-04 season, the New York Philharmonic reimagined one of the concert hall’s longest traditions—its program notes. The exhaustive note, full of musical analysis, which could run to 3,000 words for a single work on the program, was out. The new format was built around a 650-700-word “core note” that featured predominantly biographical and contextual information about the composer and the work. Sidebars of 200-400 words each might discuss a single musical passage or motif and its role, describe a relevant historical event, or consider the work’s history at the Philharmonic. Monica Parks, director of publications for the Philharmonic, says the movement toward change began with the arrival of Zarin Mehta as the Philharmonic’s managing director in 2000. “He brought a fresh eye,” Parks says. The orchestra started to think about whether long, dense musicological essays are “what people today want in the five minutes that they have to read— the time it takes to change the stage,” Parks says. In today’s society, she points out,
“reading habits are more in line with magazines, and the preference is for punchy and pithy.” The New York Philharmonic’s overhaul of its notes is one of the more dramatic examples of how orchestras have begun to reconsider their approach to the genre. And not only orchestras—outside providers like Word Pros are adapting and adjusting their program notes to suit the changing times. Issues of space (how much there is in the program book), time (how much audience members are willing to devote to reading notes), style (the author’s tone and the visual layout), and content (what people want to know and can comprehend) factor into decisions about what notes should be. As they make these choices, orchestras must address the bigger questions of what purpose program notes now serve—entertainment? education?—and whether it is possible for them to be all things to all people as audiences and their habits change. Technology has also provided new ways of getting program notes to audiences early, as more and more orchestras and presenters post notes, artist interviews, and other symphony
material on their websites in advance of concerts. However, experiments that target a younger, more casual audience, such as abbreviated program notes delivered in real time through Twitter, can alienate or even offend more traditional concertgoers. To arrive at its new program notes style, the New York Philharmonic administration surveyed its constituents, including musicians, subscribers, single-ticket buyers, and donors, and the results confirmed their hypothesis. “The philosophy of the earlier style of notes was that they would have something for everyone: biography, cultural americanorchestras.org
New York Philharmonic concertgoers cram in some last-minute reading about the night’s musical offerings.
context, musical analysis,” Parks says. “But in a dimly lit hall, you had to pore through it to find what was of interest to you.” With the new format, the different aspects of the note are broken out, both in the text and through the use of art and headlines. “Dense pages of text are wearing,” Parks says. “Broken up, with art, they are easier on the eye and the mind.” James Keller, who became the Philharmonic’s program note editor in 1995 and is now its sole annotator, was part of the conversation about change. As a devotee of the long, comprehensive note, many of
which were by the late Michael Steinberg, a prominent annotator who worked for the Boston Symphony, the Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra, he was reluctant to change. “I was dragged kicking and screaming into this era,” Keller says now. “I lost that battle, but I’m glad I lost it. I think the program notes are more suited to the audience at this point. You can say a good deal in 650 words. Not everything, but enough to get people interested. Another thing that has changed is that the availability of information is much greater. With online resources, anyone who wants to learn more can learn it. We felt less responsibility for bringing everything to people.” Does the excision of musical analysis from the core note mean that the notes are being “dumbed down”? Parks insists that this is not the case. “At first, it was a big concern for us,” she says. “There is stuff that is not presented—there’s no ‘in this passage, we move to subdominant’—but the information that is there is presented in a sophisticated way that is journalistic rather than musicological. James, who writes every note for us, is like an expert at a dinner party who can talk about any topic clearly to those who are as informed as he is and to those who are learning. He doesn’t go over anyone’s head or talk down.” Keller sees the Philharmonic notes as “the warmup act.” “The note invites the audience to approach the piece in a good mood, with an informed spirit about what expectations they should have of the piece.” Even orchestras that maintain their commitment to the lengthy note that includes musical analysis recognize that times have changed. The Boston Symphony Orchestra still publishes notes that start at 1,200 words—before instrumentation and BSO performance history information are added. However, aware that not every listener wants that much information, the orchestra has added a one-page feature, “The Program in Brief,” which, says Marc Mandel, the BSO’s director of program publications, “gives a reasonable amount of information about the pieces and the shape of the program, so anyone reading that would be good to go.” And the long notes themselves have changed. Larry Rothe, publications editor at the San Francisco Symphony, where a note can run as long as 2,000 words,
regularly “scrubs” older notes, making sure that a novice can understand them. (New notes are written by several people, including Keller.) “Program notes never take the place of listening to music,” Rothe says. “We have always tried to offer commentary in the most felicitous prose we can, that mirrors the music’s gravitas, beauty, and fun. We do that today—in a more user-friendly way. Almost any writer on music assumes a certain knowledge of the literature on the part of the audience. Increasingly, we can’t make those assumptions. But I don’t think making a note simpler to comprehend is dumbing it down. We try to explain more terminology. We include musicological information, but leave out the more arcane stuff.” Musical Notation
Program note editors have also recognized that musical examples may alienate audience members who cannot read them. There have been none at the San Francisco Symphony for some years. Keller says that one of his first actions on becoming program note editor at the New York Philharmonic was to eliminate musical examples. “I would see people open the program book to a page with notation, say ‘This is not for me, I don’t read music,’ and close the book. There are a lot of very dedicated, informed music lovers who do not read music, and the notes scared them off.” Musical ex-
discuss critical perceptions about profundity in Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, pointing out why they are fun to play and listen to but also, despite some critical views to the contrary, brim with authentic emotion. The content ideal, Keane says, is “placing pieces in the context of musical history, and bringing the composer’s biography and the music to life in a dramatic, pictorial way. We look for engagement before information. We also provide a sort of listening guide, pulling up one or two specific entry points into the music.” In Keane’s view, the note is best read before the concert. “We like to make as much sense of the music for the audience as we can, before they are sitting in that hall,” she says. “I will sometimes run a quote on Tumblr or Facebook. We also post the notes on our website before the concert.” Keane is looking to tweak the notes even further, perhaps breaking them up visually. “I’d rather they read one section than not read any at all, especially A San Francisco Symphony program note from 1951 (bottom) included excerpts from the score; the orchestra’s current website includes podcasts of program notes as well as text. Courtesy San Francisco Symphony
Courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston Symphony Orchestra program pages from December 1974 (left) and March 2012
amples do occasionally appear in the Philharmonic’s new format, but they are quarantined within sidebars that are specifically about musical themes. The reader who doesn’t want to deal with the musical notation can easily ignore that sidebar without skipping the rest of the note. Mandel and Rothe see their long-note format as performing an important educational service for their audiences, but they recognize that there may not be enough time to read them beforehand. Since both editors would prefer audience members to be listening rather than reading the notes during the music, they envision the concertgoer reading the notes after the concert. “They’re like the best travel guides,” Rothe says. “You read the guide to Venice before you go, but when you come back, it brings back images and memories. That’s why we are eager to have the best writing possible.” He envisions the San Francisco program books “stacked up by your bed, along with your New Yorker magazines.” The term “storyteller” emerges frequently in talk about today’s program notes. Jayce Keane, director of public relations at the Pacific Symphony, started looking for one after she had been at the orchestra for a few years. “In 2005, when I came, we had a traditional, academic note writer, who suited the mood of the audience at that time. In 2009, I started looking for someone who would be more entertaining and engaging. More of a storyteller.” Keane sent inquiries to a list of writers who had attended the NEA Arts Journalism Institute and hired Michael Clive. “He was not a note writer. He worked for Classical TV.com and had a down-to-earth, witty approach.” Clive’s notes have an informal, personal touch. His note for Tchaikovsky’s brassheavy Symphony No. 5 begins: “Your intrepid annotator first encountered the term ‘blowfest’ in the late 1980s, when he was studying and teaching at the Peabody Conservatory.” The one-page note goes on to
cert to go through generated spirited debate about the role of the pieces and spell that technology in the concert hall. While out what the conducthe Cincinnati Symphony remains interesttor wanted people to ed in innovating with technology, the tweet know. It might tell seat program is on hiatus for the moment. people to listen for a The New World Symphony in Miami solo coming up, or inBeach realized that it needed a new way to dicate what the oboe deliver program notes for its Wallcasts at means to the story. It the New World Center, concerts that are works well with stoThe program note may have ry-based pieces like gone from long-form New Don Juan,” one of this Yorker article to USA Today, year’s offerings. The Tweetcerts but technology has moved made the concert ineven further as e-readers, teractive: listeners resmartphones, and other devices sponded to the tweets have opened up new frontiers. and retweeted them, as did the Houston simulcast into the adjacent SoundScape Symphony. “People Park to an audience that can reach 2,500. were responding The solution was a Mobile Program Book so much that the app that supplies program notes specifically woman sending the contoured for a mobile device. (They are tweets from backnot tweeted in real time, though concertgostage couldn’t retweet ers can use another part of the app to send them all,” Cassard questions to ushers.) The abbreviated notes says. The orchestra feels that the experiare adapted from the concert hall program, ment has been a big success. some of them considerably altered to apThe outdoor, informal setting of the peal to a “much broader audience,” says Houston Tweetcerts most likely helped its Craig Hall, vice president for communicaacceptance. The Cincinnati Symphony Ortions at NWS. The app may provide videos chestra also tried Twitter notes, designating of interviews with artists and composers inno more than 20 “tweet seats” inside Muvolved in the concert, which people tend to sic Hall for each of four performances last watch while they are waiting for the conseason. The script was prepared by an ascert to start. sistant conductor who sent out the tweets NWS also uses the mobile program book and responded to questions and comments for its “Pulse: Late Night at New World as the music was going on. “It’s not everySymphony” concerts, which feature DJ-spun one’s cup of tea,” says Christopher Pinelo, electronic music interspersed with live convice president of communications. “It’s intemporary classical music. “This is obviously teresting for someone who is new to orchestral music.” Although the seats were located in areas where the glow from the phones would not disturb others, Pinelo says that there were complaints. The distraction was such that the tweet seats were moved to the back of the second balcony, Pinelo says. Still, the The glow of smartphones from the Cincinnati Symphony’s “tweet seats,” notion of designated where audience members in 2011-12 could exchange comments and “tweet seats” drew nareceive program notes in real time. tional attention and Houston Symphony
Georgia McBride, assistant marketing manager, Digital Media/Young Audience Engagement at the Houston Symphony, read along with the musical score and posted program note tweets in real time during one of the orchestra’s TweetCert concerts.
when you are trying to attract new people to the audience.” Tech and Tweetcerts
The ideal program note may have gone from long-form New Yorker article to USA Today in the last several years, but technology has moved even further as e-readers, smartphones, and other devices have opened up new frontiers in how people read and get their information. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, help arts organizations connect with their patrons in new ways, and it was only a matter of time before this technology made its way into the concert hall. Several orchestras have experimented with tweeting program notes in real time. For the past three summers, the Houston Symphony has offered one “Tweetcert” each season at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, its outdoor concert venue. Anyone with a smartphone, following the orchestra on Twitter, could access tweets about the music while it was going on. “We did not work with our normal program annotator on these,” says Holly Cassard, the orchestra’s communications manager. “It was driven out of the marketing department, and the digital media manager worked with the conductor of that conamericanorchestras.org
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a different type of classical music experience, one in which people don’t want to hold a program book, but we’ve learned through focus groups that they are very interested in learning about the music,” Hall says. Tweeted program notes have an ancestor: the Concert Companion, which was developed by Roland Valliere in 2003. The device had dedicated hardware (this was in the days before the ubiquitous smartphone) and specially written notes designed to be read while the music was being performed. It was tested by several orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, but ultimately the economics of the project made it unfeasible. Noteworthy
Which brings us back to the question of what program notes ought to be. The Concert Companion and its real-time Twitter successors are in some ways like the really old-fashioned program note (minus the technical language) that gave the listener a blow-by-blow account of what’s happening in the music. James Keller finds that style—a straight recitation of how the score moves (“and then the second bassoon intones an E-flat…”)—dull. “If people don’t hear how the score is unrolling, reciting it in prose won’t help them hear it,” he says. “And if you say, ‘At this moment, the violas Pacific Symphony delivers program notes through various media, including Tumblr, Facebook, and mobile apps.
are playing a countersubject,’ that may be true, but it’s too selective. It’s not the only thing that is going on musically, so it’s rather restrictive in how it instructs the listener. You can end up thinking ‘I heard all these things, but didn’t hear the piece.’ ” But if biographical tidbits, historical context, and a few musical entry points don’t seem like enough either, how about offering an artist’s point of view? The pianist Jeremy Denk has written several
screeds about program notes on his blog, Think Denk, protesting their formulaic nature and, in one case, delivering his own impassioned and detailed account of what he thinks makes a particular Mozart concerto great. This provoked several comments suggesting that artists write their own program notes. It’s been tried: The fledgling Atlantic Chamber Ensemble in Richmond, Va., experimented with several types of program
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by michael clive seventh symphony in 1812, a longer interval than between any of his other consecutively numbered symphonies. during that time, he suffered setbacks including the end of his engagement to countess theresa Brunswick, which had been announced in 1806. But if his romantic life was in stasis, his music was progressing during this period. it saw the composition of many other important works, including his string quartets in e flat (op. 74) and F minor (op. 95); theatrically inspired music for Egmont, King Stephen and the Ruins of Athens; the Choral Fantasy; two piano sonatas, the F-sharp minor and Les Adieux; the trios in e-flat and d (op. 70), and in B flat (op. 97); and more.
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 Composed: 1811-12 Premiere: Vienna, December 8, 1813 Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings Performance time: 36 minutes
hen we think of Beethoven as the promethean composer who broke boundaries and reinvented forms, the symphony comes immediately to mind; the word “fun” does not. Yet “fun” is a word seen over and over again in critical appreciations of his Symphony no. 7. its exuberance makes it seem like a symphony of joyful first movements and exciting climaxes, with scarcely a relaxed moment. richard wagner, in one of the most oft-quoted descriptions in music history, called Beethoven’s Seventh an “apotheosis of the dance.” this does not suggest that the symphony’s emphatic rhythms lend themselves to particular dance steps or to classical choreography; instead, their intense energy captures the feeling of explosive, spontaneous movement. and most commentators agree that it’s the rhythms that get us. despite the appeal of this symphony’s elemental melodies, its powerful rhythmic drive is the work’s emotional driver, thrilling us with a feeling of palpable freedom, like riding in a convertible with the top down on a beautiful, empty road. it’s all we can do to keep from jumping out of our seats with leaping gestures that match our feelings about the music as we listen. Background it’s always tempting to relate the facts of a composer’s life to his or her compositions. But as the late musicologist piero weiss pointed out, this can be especially misleading when it comes to Beethoven, who wrote some of his sunniest music — especially in his symphonies — when his circumstances were darkest. For example, Beethoven wrote the radiant largo from his second symphony when he learned that he was losing his hearing. Four years elapsed between the pastoral lyricism of his Symphony no. 6 and the completion of his
Beethoven’s engagement with the great ideas of his day, and his impulse to express them in musically dramatic terms, are reflected in his major works that we associate with napoleon. the Eroica Symphony (no. 3) and the Emperor concerto are prominent among these, and his seventh deserves a place among them. it received its first public performance in 1813 at a concert in vienna, produced to benefit soldiers wounded at the battle of Hanau, where austrian and Bavarian troops attempted to cut off napoleon’s army as it retreated from Leipzig. though Beethoven had once viewed napoleon as a champion of human values, he was by this time openly hostile to the emperor. another napoleonic work, Wellington’s Victory, was on the program with the premiere of the Seventh. the benefit performance brought together many of the most renowned musicians of the time not just as listeners, but into the orchestra itself — including the eminent composers Louis Spohr, giacomo Meyerbeer and Johann nepomunk Hummel and Moscheles. even Beethoven’s teacher (and Mozart’s storied rival) Salieri was there. the sense of occasion and the buoyancy of the music produced a hugely enthusiastic response. at the premiere and for decades afterward, audiences demanded that the second movement be encored. on the other hand, some of the professional musicians in the audience felt that the symphony was not just spectacular, but chaotic — notably Friederich wieck, Schumann’s father-in-law, who described it as the work of a drunken composer. History’s judgment has been kinder to it, though not to “wellington’s victory,” which is not usually ranked with first-rate Beethoven. What to Listen for this symphony’s bold, peppery repetitions, which took some of Beethoven’s contemporaries by surprise, begin in its first movement. an expansive introduction is marked poco sostenuto, with long, ascending scales. it then gives rise to a lively vivace that begins the symphony’s dancing rhythms (with no fewer than 61 repetitions of the note e along the way). Sudden shifts in dynamics and jagged modulations intensify the feeling of boundless energy. in most symphonies, a movement marked allegretto might seem relatively quick, but in Beethoven’s Seventh, it is the slowest of the four and it is also the most famous. if you saw the film The King’s Speech, it played with great dramatic effect during the climactic moment when colin Firth as King george vi gave his 1939 speech to millions over the radio after Britain declared war on nazi germany. the second movement of the Seventh Symphony is very popular and rightly so; it is gorgeous. However, it is a mistake to attribute its beauty to the melody, and this is the genius of Beethoven, a master of development. if one considers that an ostinato (a repeating pattern), largely featuring repetitions of the same note, is used as the
2 • Pacific Symphony | Summer Festival 2012
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New World Symphony’s Wallcast concerts send program notes directly to audience members’ smartphones.
Andersen & Associates, Inc.................. 38 David Belenzon Management.............. 47 Dave Bennett – A Tribute to Benny Goodman.......................................... 24 BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) ................c3 Boston University................................... 2
Broadway Pops International ............... 42
notes for a performance of Barber’s wind quintet Summer Music, one of which assembled comments from members of the ensemble about what goes on in their minds during certain passages. The Cincinnati Symphony now begins its concerts with brief videos that feature members of the orchestra talking about their personal impressions of the works on the concert; the videos are also available online. Writer Greg Sandow did several notes for the Cleveland Orchestra that were intended to communicate exactly what the conductor Franz WelserMöst was going for in his interpretations. Notes for new pieces, if not written entirely by the composer, almost always include their perspective on the work. The personal viewpoint makes the difference, because it gives audience members a way to connect The Kansas City Symphony features program notes in print, online, and on its mobile app, accessible by scanning a QR code.
with the artist on the stage, rather than a faceless expert; in a way, the Pacific Symphony’s first-person “intrepid annotator” offers a similar experience. Program note editors believe their audiences remain hungry for information about the music, however it is delivered. The Kansas City Symphony recently increased the length of its program notes from 350 to 600 words. “People wanted that,” says Jeff Barker, Kansas City’s director of marketing; they also wanted the notes added to the orchestra’s mobile app. Many orchestras make the notes available on their websites before the concert. The New World Symphony shows brief program note videos in between movements at its outdoor Wallcasts (inside, the conductor pauses for the required amount of time). And perhaps there are still more mechanisms to provide that information. The BSO’s Marc Mandel, dubious about Twitter notes, feels that real-time discussion of musical events in pieces work best in pre- or post- concert talks (with musical examples) or in podcasts; he has also started a free musiceducation class focusing on upcoming repertoire, musical forms, and particular composers. The class includes time after performances where attendees can discuss their impressions. Says the PSO’s Jayce Keane, “The music doesn’t change, but the delivery and how you talk about it does. To engage people, you’ve got to be creative.” HEIDI WALESON writes about the performing arts and is the opera critic for The Wall Street Journal.w
Chris Brubeck ...................................... 33 Charlie Chaplin...................................... 4 CHL Artists, Inc...................................c4 Classical Kids Live! .............................. 25 Ron Davis, piano .................................. 20 Tony DeSare......................................... 39 The DiMenna Center for Classical Music ................................. 55 KMP Artists......................................... 41 Dan Kamin Comedy Concertos........... 10 Knudsen Productions ........................... 41 Ronnie Kole ....................................12, 67 League of American Orchestras.....16, 19, 54, 68 Listen Magazine ................................... 27 Mollie and The Sword ......................... 55 Peter Nero .............................................. 3 OnStage Productions ........................... 66 Thomas Pandolfi .................................. 60 R&H Concert Library ......................... 13 Tony Sandler, My Paris......................... 48 Silent Movie Concerts............................ 9 John Such Artists’ Management........... 49 John Tesh...............................................c2 Jonathan Tessero, conductor ................. 21 Peter Throm Management LLC.......... 40 Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.... 26 Word Pros, Inc. ...................................... 9 Yamaha Corporation of America ........... 1 Young Concert Artists.......................... 11
Remembering Marvin Hamlisch
On August 6, the music world lost a legendary figure: composer, conductor, and pianist Marvin Hamlisch. He played a huge role in American musical life, and that includes the many orchestras with which he was so successfully associated. At the time of his passing, Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Seattle Symphony. He had also built long-standing relationships with many other American orchestras. This past June, Hamlisch was an honored guest at the League of American Orchestras’ National Conference, where he spoke eloquently and with characteristic humor about pops concerts for orchestras. In this special tribute section, we celebrate Marvin Hamlisch’s manifold contributions to the orchestra field.
June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012
Marvin Hamlisch and American Orchestras On one thing, many of us who spend a lifetime working in an industry filled with tremendously talented people will agree: you won’t find an individual more gifted and creative than Marvin Hamlisch. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find more than a handful who even come close. Marvin’s list of accomplishments is famously long. He won awards for movies, television, musicals, recordings, and songs. Understandably, Marvin’s New York Times obituary devotes about twenty paragraphs to these well-known achievements. Sadly, it covers his activities as pops conductor with symphony orchestras in one throwaway sentence. It even says that in recent years his most steady work came from movies. Professionals in the orchestra industry, and our audiences, know better. Because after winning all those awards, Marvin in 1995 became principal pops conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, embarking on the next phase of his remarkable career. Over the last seventeen years he served in that role for as many as eight orchestras simultaneously while also guest-conducting orchestras nationwide, creating dozens of shows and
conducting hundreds of performances for hundreds of thousands of devoted fans. Before 1995, Marvin had a wonderful pops program with which he made the rounds of American orchestras. But when he signed with us in Pittsburgh, he had to produce three new programs each year. My job for the next five years was to help him do it. During those first years we created shows that would have made P.T. Barnum proud and Arthur Fiedler, well, smile. We’ve had everyone from Marilyn Horne to Susan Lucci (!) on our stage, from Chris Botti to Sha Na Na. By 2000 the pops series had become so big that we added a staff person to work with Marvin. Marvin had almost too much talent squeezed into one person. His creative mind worked at blistering speed with enormous bandwidth, taking three or four unrelated and preposterous “titles” and blending them with melody, harmony, and lyrics into a song in seconds. It was astonishing, and hilarious. The piano was his second voice, spewing out notes in the same way he threw out ideas: rapid-fire, yet considered at the same time. His sense of humor and timing were impeccable and side-splitting.
His instinct for working a crowd, magical. The dizzying way he would bring a new show together in rehearsal was a challenge for the orchestra (lots of cuts and changes), a headache for the librarians (the cuts didn’t always work), and a bonanza for the audience. He didn’t care about the printed program—if he could improve the show, he would cut a piece or change the order. On and off the stage, he was a genuine and generous man. If he made a promise, he kept it. After seventeen years, Marvin was so comfortable with our audience that he would walk onstage and start talking to them like he was continuing a personal conversation where it had left off the last time. And these fans, like thousands around the U.S., loved him. Marvin became an icon, winning supporters for all the institutions he led. In this way, Marvin’s impact on American orchestras was huge. His loss leaves us all with the seemingly impossible challenge of replacing him. Marvin, why’d ya have to be so good? —Robert Moir Senior Vice President of Artistic Planning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra symphony
ASCAP Honors the Legacy of
His profound genius will leave an indelible mark on music and our culture.
P H I L H A R M O N I C
O R C H E S T R A
For four shining seasons, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra was fortunate enough to have Marvin Hamlisch as its principal pops conductor. His warmth, his humor and his musical genius will be sorely missed and never forgotten.
MARVIN HAMLISCH A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW
fondest memories and respect from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
In Memoriam 1944–2012
Marvin HaMliscH One singular sensation. Stein Family Principal Pops Conductor 2009 – 2012
MARVIN HAMLISCH Seattle Symphony Principal Pops Conductor
Tribute Concerts: February 21–24, 2013 Benaroya Hall
Photo by Ben VanHouten
B U F F A L O
MARVIN HAMLISCH 1944-2012
Our world is a less joyful place without Marvin, our Principal Pops Conductor of 17 years. He will truly be missed by the staff, musicians and board of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “So it is the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember the way we were.”
PHOTO CREDIT: LEN PRINCE
I am deeply saddened by the death of the legendary composer, conductor, and pianist Marvin Hamlisch. I am grateful for having met him, and enjoyed attending the session “Conversation with Marvin Hamlisch” this June at the 67th National Conference of the League of American Orchestras in Dallas, Texas.
ONE SINGULAR SENSATION. Farewell to a stellar friend of music and of the New York Philharmonic.
Elianne Schiedmayer CEO Schiedmayer Celesta GmbH
Schäferhauserstr. 10/2 73240 Wendlingen/Stuttgart Germany www.celesta-‐schiedmayer.de
appreciation from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus community for the many memories Marvin Hamlisch created for us.
Marvin Hamlisch Nobody Did It Better PRINCIPAL POPS CONDUCTOR 2006 â€“ 2012
With Love from the Board of Directors, Musicians, Staff and Patrons
PRINCIPAL POPS CONDUCTOR, NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, 2000-2011
for the music, joy, and laughter he brought to the Washington, D.C. community.
Thank you, Marvin
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Mark Morris is widely lauded as the most musical of contemporary choreographers. He insists that his company use live music for their performances, and now he has branched out—a bit—as a conductor. Here, Mark Morris talks about what it takes to make the leap.
Choreographer as Conductor
Mark Morris Dance Group in the choreographer’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
have always worked with live music whenever possible for my dances. When I moved to Brussels 25 years ago to using a recording, because become director of dance at that’s how one works in the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, modern dance. Audiences I could finally do everything love it, dancers love it. It’s with living musicians. Back a good piece. But I had in the States, I made a vow to choreographed it a long do it no other way, and since time ago and the thrill 1996 my company performs was somewhat gone for exclusively with live music. As me. Nancy Umanoff, the far as I’m concerned, performing executive director of my without musicians is the same as company, suggested that performing without dancers. I conduct it myself. I was When we work with conducmortified and petrified Mark Morris conducts a performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. tors for the first time, it takes an and a bunch of other enormous effort to get things right. There Music Ensemble, as well as with other “-fied”s when I started. But it came out are demands required beyond orchestral orchestras all over the world. My conductwell. I get a good result and the dancconducting. They have to participate in ing teachers include Jane Glover, Stefan ers and musicians seem to like it. I’m dance rehearsals, not just music rehearsals Asbury, Nic McGegan, the late Craig not committing any crimes against art. and the performance. Since I know these Smith, and I have a wonderful pianist, And I offer another point of view. I don’t pieces inside out, I have been conducting Colin Fowler, who is a conductor himself. come from a conservatory, which is why occasionally for my company. I’m doing Maestro James Levine watched one of I’m hired at Tanglewood to work with it because I have a very deep knowledge my dances to Brahms at Tanglewood musicians: I’m not the person they have of the music and I can convey this to the and his first question was, “who coached been studying with for eight years. I can players. I have a particular angle on music the music to go with the dancing?” Now, say, have you tried this, or let’s work on that is needed for a successful collaborathat’s a musician’s question. I replied that rhythm, or take a breath. I come in with a tion with my dance company. I go by ear, I did. The Maestro said I should do it all different set of eyes and ears. by the score, by my very good rhythm, and the time. I’m not power-mad, thinking, “at last by what the dance needs—which is always When we were getting ready to I have an orchestra under my control!” what the music needs. celebrate the 25th anniversary of my I’m very thankful and delighted that I We have worked for years with a small company, we talked about bringing back can do this. I practice and I’m conscienroster of conductors and a larger roster of one of my earliest big-music dances, the tious. Conducting an orchestra is quite a musicians who perform as the MMDG Vivaldi Gloria. I had choreographed it rush!
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