Maine’s Portland Symphony Orchestra will present the local premiere of Brett Dietz’s Headcase on a January program with the theme “head and heart.” Dietz’s work explores the composer’s struggle to regain clarity after suffering a stroke in 2002 at age 29; it is scored for bass-baritone, flute/piccolo, B-flat clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, cello, and pre-recorded sounds and includes a slide presentation of Dietz’s MRI scans and writings from his hospital bed. Headcase was given its world premiere by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in 2006 and was performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2007. The Portland Symphony concert on January 24 is sponsored by New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland; artworks by brain-injury survivor Hilary Zayed will be on display in the lobby of Merrill Auditorium, and the composer will participate in a pre-concert discussion with Music Director Robert Moody. Dietz will also speak at a symposium two days before the concert at the Dana Center on the Maine Medical Center campus, jointly presented by the PSO, NERHP, and Maine Medical Center.
Posted January 13, 2010