Stepping Away from Classics, NY Philharmonic Celebrates New Music
"Frankly, the reason I do new music is I like a lot of it," he said.
In addition to playing their own concerts, the Philharmonic is sharing the bill during the festival with some surprising partners, like Bang on a Can All-Stars. The six classically-trained musicians do not actually bang on cans.
"With Bang on a Can, we're looking at certain kinds of wild and crazy adventurous music that doesn't fit so neatly into the box, so we're ecstatic to be a part of it," said composer
The ensemble is going to perform Wolfe's multi-media oratorio Anthracite Fields inspired by
"I wanted to honor the people that worked there," she said. "And so on one hand I am looking at...how do I honor them? It certainly wasn't about, 'Oh, coal is awful.' There are things about coal that are awful, but it wasn't reduced to that."
Visual artist and puppeteer
"There's a phalanx of nasty pig's relatives and there is a chorus of frogs, of course, and a couple of be-bopping kind of oxen, with a couple of prophesy-spouting birds. So, it's your regular opera," Fitch said with a laugh.
"It's fascinating music, because it's intensely difficult," said Burdette, who sings the role of Roderigo, the wild boar. "But when it clicks in, it gets this kind of groove that sort of propels itself and it's a hoot to sing, and I think, it's probably for the audience, I think they'll think it's a gas."
Austrian composer HK Gruber's work has been performed around the world, but one of the programs features completely unknown composers.
Last week, students at
"I wanted to try to write a very atmospheric orchestra piece that kind of combines my feelings," Zachary said. "It ended up combining my feelings about the high school and, I don't know, a little bit about how it feels to write music."
"Back in the 19th century, almost every concert was a new music concert," he said. "And I think that it's so important for music to continue to encourage people, to give them the sense that they can compose."
He plans to make it a habit. In two years, Gilbert will again take a musical snapshot of the state of the art.
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