- Leon Kirchner (1919-2009)
- Boston Modern Orchestra Project
- Gil Rose, conductor
When I moved to Massachusetts in the mid-1970s to start a doctorate at Boston University, there was a specific professor I wanted to study with: the formidable pianist Leonard Shure.
But Shure was hardly the only renowned pedagogue in Boston. The city had at that point long been a hub of academic music, with distinguished programs at Harvard, Brandeis and Boston universities, the New England Conservatory, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When a new release arrives from the auspices of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, I generally perk up. It is because I know that whatever they are up to is a good thing, really. So a few weeks ago the anthology of Leon Kirchner (1919-2009) Music for Orchestra (BMOP 1060) was in my mailbox and I was intrigued. I had found years ago
American composer Leon Kirchner was a student of Arnold Schoenberg, though he did not use the 12-tone system or other strict organizational methods, and favored a generally dissonant and free atonal style with ambiguous tonal inflections. As a result, his music more closely resembles the flexible approach of Alban Berg, and the orchestral music on this 2018 release from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project bears this out.
At the end of last September, BMOP/sound, the “house label” for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), celebrated its 60th release with an album consisting entirely of orchestra music by Leon Kirchner. Prepared by conductor Gil Rose, the “program” of the album consists of five of Kirchner’s orchestral compositions presented in
Leon Kirchner (1919 - 2009) was totally American, a major figure for a half century. He was a respected teacher and won a number of awards for his music. A prolific composer, Kirchner wrote primarily chamber music, much of which has been recorded. His orchestral works will be new to most listeners, although they have been championed by major conductors.