Phoenix Symphony continues promotion of contemporary works

Posted on: August 23, 2010

In Sunday’s (8/22) Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Richard Nilsen writes, “The Phoenix Symphony has managed to do something that American symphony orchestras have been trying unsuccessfully to accomplish for 90 years or so: Get audiences to sit still for modern music. … ‘Some of our audience does come only for the standard, big-ticket symphonies and concertos,’ says Phoenix Symphony music director Michael Christie, who has shaken up traditional notions of programming with hefty doses of contemporary music and innovative methods of presentation. ‘But it is gratifying emotionally when audiences come for a lot of diversity and get excited about a piece they may not have heard before.’ Now in his sixth season with the symphony, Christie has previously mixed Beethoven with Jennifer Higdon, Osvaldo Golijov and John Adams, bringing music by living composers to Symphony Hall audiences. … This season, the Phoenix Symphony will highlight music written by composers murdered or exiled by the German Nazi regime of the 1930s and ‘40s, including a semi-staged version of the Hans Krasa anti-Nazi children’s opera ‘Brundibar,’ with scenery by Maurice Sendak. Krasa died at Auschwitz. And the symphony will highlight contemporary American composer Corigliano.”

Posted August 23, 2010