The Seattle Symphony announced that it has commissioned eighteen new works in honor of Gerard Schwarz, who will step down from that position at the end of the 2010-11 season, when he becomes the orchestra’s conductor laureate. The Gund/Simonyi Farewell Commissions, as they are known, will feature music by composers who all have longstanding relationships with Schwarz, several of whom have served as Seattle Symphony Composers in Residence: Robert Beaser, Daniel Brewbaker, Richard Danielpour, Philip Glass, Daron Hagen, Samuel Jones, Aaron Jay Kernis, Bernard Rands, David Schiff, Paul Schoenfield, Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, Bright Sheng, David Stock, Augusta Read Thomas, George Tsontakis, Chen Yi, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The new works will be featured on Seattle Symphony programs between September 8, 2010, and June 18, 2011. The commissions are supported by philanthropists Agnes Gund, a philanthropist and collector of modern and contemporary art, and Charles Simonyi, a software engineer who was the architect of computer applications Word and Excel. Ludovic Morlot will become Seattle Symphony’s Music Director effective in the 2011-12 season.
Posted August 25, 2010