When preparing to webcast 24 hours of orchestral music written in the 21st century, it is advisable to seek out expert opinions. For Q2 Music's Symphomania: 24 Hours with the 21st-Century Orchestra, we turned to champions of the field for their take: What are the thrills and challenges of conducting this music? Have any trends emerged among new works? How, if at all, is the symphony orchestra evolving?
You’ll hear edited versions of these interviews with conductors and critics active in the new music world throughout the marathon on Tuesday, March 24, to contextualize the theme and introduce many of the works that will be featured. Their insights and recommendations – which you can play below – offer a variety of authoritative takes on the state of orchestral music today.
"I'm Gil Rose, I'm Artistic Director of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. The impact of the symphony orchestra is an amazing tool for the composer. Symphony orchestras as an institution in this country, and others, maybe doesn't offer nearly as much potential as the actual orchestra itself because symphony orchestras have structured themselves so that new music and new pieces are on the periphery of their agenda. Combining these large forces in complex music are a challenge but it's also the thrill and the reward.
The pleasure of premiering Steve Mackey's Dreamhouse comes to mind as a great example of what can be done with the full power of an orchestra piece or Lisa Bielawa's In medias res. These are all substantial pieces of more than 45 or 50 minutes and that's a great thrill to be able to consider works that have a big power and a big duration and a big canvas."