Albany Symphony to feature Harbison at American Music Festival

Posted on: May 18, 2010

In Sunday’s (5/16) Times Union (Albany, New York), Joseph Dalton writes, “Composer Joseph Harbison has been grappling with music history lately—although not his own fate in it. At age 71, he’s risen to a secure spot as one of today’s most respected and performed composers and doesn’t seem that concerned, one way or the other, about the long-term prognosis for his own compositions. What’s on his mind instead are historical performance standards and the education of young composers. Harbison is just completing a season as senior composer in residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, which will perform a suite from his opera ‘The Great Gatsby’ on Saturday night at EMPAC. It’s one of three concerts next weekend … that make up the ASO’s annual American Music Festival. … Although he’s productive as a composer and holds teaching posts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tanglewood, Harbison also finds time to be a student and practitioner of jazz. Every summer at the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival in rural Wisconsin, he’s at the piano in a quartet performing standards by Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Vernon Duke and others. … As for what’s ahead with Harbison’s own music, he’s spent much of the past year working on a cantata to be premiered by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.”

Posted May 18, 2010