Tribute's mix of cultures unleashes stirring sounds from East and West

Toru Takemitsu, nearly a decade after his death at 65, remains Japan’s best-known composer. His many concert pieces and more than 90 film scores echo Debussy, Messiaen, and Webern, as well as traditional Japanese music. But the largely self-taught Takemitsu maintained that his ultimate masters were Duke Ellington and nature.

Saturday night, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project presented a stirring tribute to Takemitsu, including two memorial pieces, one by up-and-coming Japanese-American composer Ken Ueno, the other by well-known, Chinese-born Tan Dun.

Media Date 
May 30, 2005
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media 
Media Quote 

Takemitsu's sweet clash of cultures, shot through with silence, was engagingly embodied with gentle ferocity by Mitsuhashi, Tanaka, and the BMOP.

Media Contact Name 
Kevin Lowenthal
Media Contact Title 
Globe Correspondent

Project brings death to life in "Trilogy"

This season may bring no more important event than the American premiere of Louis Andriessen’s Trilogy of the Last Day, which was at the center of last night’s concert by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. This terrifying hourlong work gathers texts from an almost impossibly wide variety of cultures and eras to ask a daringly simple question: How do we represent death to ourselves?

Media Date 
November 18, 2005
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media 
Media Quote 

This season may bring no more important event than the American premiere of Louis Andriessen's "Trilogy of the Last Day."

Media Contact Name 
David Weininger

"Connection" proves spirited and spiritual

An indelible image from Saturday’s Boston Modern Orchestra Project concert was that of mezzo soprano Mary Nessinger, shouting through a megaphone some wisdom from St. Francis about perfect joy.

Media Date 
January 25, 2006
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media 
Media Quote 

An indelible image from Saturday's BMOP concert was that of mezzo soprano Mary Nessinger, shouting through a megaphone some wisdom from St. Francis about perfect joy.

Media Contact Name 
David Weininger

BMOP looks east for fascinating program

To write a concerto for an indigenous instrument may be an obvious way to create a multicultural piece, but it is not the easiest. Most folk instruments don’t have the power to compete with an orchestra, although electronics can help; most also involve tunings that can’t mesh with the compromises of the well-tempered Western scale.

Media Date 
March 14, 2006
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media 
Media Quote 

The practical thing to do is to use the orchestra as a kind of backdrop in front of which the indigenous instrument does its thing, and that is pretty much what Kim, Cowell, and Vali did.

Media Contact Name 
Richard Dyer

Grandeur and intimacy

...And in the Moonshine Room at the Club Café, one of the off-the-formal-concert-hall-beats of Gil Rose’s Boston Modern Orchestra Project, we got a rich program, with extraordinary soloists. A percussion tour de force by Samuel Solomon in John Cage’s paradoxically but accurately titled Composed Improvisation for Snare Drum (Solomon using not only his hands and drum sticks, but also a pencil, a gavel, pebbles, space change, and his breath). Rafael Popper-Keizer’s powerful rendition of the last-movement Ciaccona from Benjamin Britten’s Second Cello Suite.

Media Date 
April 26, 2006
Media Source 
The Boston Phoenix
Media 
Media Quote 

And in the Moonshine Room at the Club Café, one of the off-the-formal-concert-hall-beats of Gil Rose's Boston Modern Orchestra Project, we got a rich program, with extraordinary soloists.

Media Contact Name 
Lloyd Schwartz

BMOP raps up another crowd-pleasing season

Conductor Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project closed this season’s subscription series Friday night with a good-time program of crossover music.

Media Date 
May 29, 2006
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media 
Media Quote 

Conductor Gil Rose and BMOP closed this season's subscription series Friday night with a good-time program of crossover music.

Media Contact Name 
Richard Dyer

Soul-searching fills musical "Angels"

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is an epic, historical, political, personal , and apocalyptic drama that is also an opera waiting to happen. It is full of larger-than-life characters who deliver long aria-speeches of interior questioning; characters meet each other in dream landscapes and there are interwoven, simultaneous episodes that resemble operatic ensembles. There is even a grand death scene.

Media Date 
June 17, 2006
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media 
Media Quote 

It is full of larger-than-life characters who deliver long aria-speeches of interior questioning; characters meet each other in dream landscapes and there are interwoven, simultaneous episodes that resemble operatic ensembles.

Media Contact Name 
Richard Dyer

"Angels in America," already operatic, is now presented as an opera

Much of life is spent thinking about death. Primary in our thoughts are the rate of its approach and hour of its arrival. It is a little like driving a car whose accelerator and brakes are out of our control. This idea may explain the public’s hideous and enduring fascination with executions and suicides, for in both cases time races and the date is set. People are in control.

Media Date 
June 19, 2006
Media Source 
The New York Times
Media 
Media Quote 

This is not easy music. Principals sang with confidence, and Gil Rose conducted with admirable command.

Media Contact Name 
Bernard Holland

Some Angels: Opera Unlimited does Tony Kushner

Whatever anyone thinks of the actual opera, congratulations are again in order to Opera Unlimited, the collaboration between music director Gil Rose’s Opera Boston and his Boston Modern Orchestra Project, this time for bringing to Boston the American premiere of Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös’s attempt to make an opera out of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, his Pulitzer-winning play about the AIDS epidemic and the collapse of public and personal values under Reagan (one remaining performance, June 24 at the Majestic Theatre).

Media Date 
June 21, 2006
Media Source 
The Boston Phoenix
Media 
Media Quote 

Kushner's play may be the most ambitious American script since Eugene O'Neill.

Media Contact Name 
Lloyd Schwartz

Angels in America

By calling his drama Angels in America “a Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” Tony Kushner implies that his two-part, seven-hour saga about America’s response to Aids operates like a musical work; perhaps he even envisioned that it might one day be turned into an opera. That day came in 2004 when the Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös’s opera had its premiere at the Châtelet in Paris. That a long play had been transformed into a shortish opera (2? hours) provoked little dissent, but critics held that Eötvös’s music lacked a strong profile.

Media Date 
June 29, 2006
Media Source 
The Financial Times
Media 
Media Quote 

In witnessing its American premiere Eötvös's Angels sometimes seemed more like an experimental music-theatre piece than an opera.

Media Contact Name 
George Loomis

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