Memphis Symphony musicians find new creative challenge with Opus One

Posted on: May 17, 2010

In Monday’s (5/17) Memphis Daily News (Tennessee), Jonathan Devin writes, “Members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra are taking classical music out of the box, off the stage, and into an unlikely venue in the second of a new series of conductor-less concerts titled Opus One. For musicians, the unusual concerts solve problems creatively while challenging themselves artistically. Opus One concerts feature contemporary music including non-classical genres like rock, blues and soul. What’s more, the symphony performs without a conductor. … In March, the first Opus One concert took place at One Commerce Square in a bank lobby. More than 350 people attended and listened without the barrier of a raised stage separating the audience from the orchestra. ‘Playing without a conductor, initially was born out of necessity,’ said [concertmaster Susanna] Perry Gilmore, noting that at the time MSO had no resident conductor. ‘It’s harder, but it’s possible. The challenge of playing without a conductor is actually very good for us as artists because it forces us to listen.’ On Thursday the second Opus One concert will take place, this time in a warehouse off of South Main Street behind Ernestine and Hazel’s.”

Posted May 17, 2010