Blog

There Is No Other Orchestra Like It Anywhere

For this 35th Anniversary Esprit season, I’ve aimed to present thought-provoking programs with strong thematic coherence and resonance. My philosophy of building strong artistic relationships over time is reflected in the commissioning of composers we’ve worked with or featured previously, repeat performances of significant pieces in the orchestra’s evolution, and the welcoming back of soloists who appeared with…

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Brilliant Piano Roll Hues

In the late 1970s, tuning in to a radio broadcast in California, I heard some remarkable piano pieces that left me astonished. The pieces delivered a flood of notes at speeds that would be impossible for a live performer to achieve. The unusual musical activity, extremely imaginative, was at times almost acrobatic. For example, two…

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George Crumb: Music Like None Other

We never studied the music of the American composer George Crumb in music school, but it was his music that struck me as being truly unique when I was a young composer. It was different in so many ways from the music that I had been analyzing in theory class. He had developed a sound world that was so evocative, spiritual, haunting, and personal. It touched me. He explored unusual timbres, placed unusual instruments into the ensembles, devised new extended vocal techniques for singers. He made me realize that contemporary music could be really beautiful as well as being intellectually satisfying.

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A Long and Meaningful Friendship

Murray Schafer and I have had a long working relationship and friendship and I’ve long thought about celebrating him and his work with a special concert, an event that is really overdue.

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The Composer And The Snake

The premiere of my composition ‘Sirens’ by the Esprit orchestra was spectacular. I love it when I write a piece and Alex, through his conducting, is able to inspire such a great interpretation from the performers that the piece sounds much better than I imagined. He also went to such great lengths to find an elusive pump…

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