Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony explores music and the brain

Posted on: October 21, 2010

In Thursday’s (10/21) Toronto Star, Jon Terauds writes, “Think of a new piece of music you heard recently. Chances are you knew right away if you liked it, hated it, or didn’t care. Now try to describe what caused that instant reaction. If you’re like most people, it isn’t easy translating a visceral impulse into words. That made conductor Edwin Outwater think. ‘Everyone always talks or writes about music in terms of structure; no one ever describes it in terms of effect,’ he says. To help him make the point, the dynamic and inventive music director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has teamed up with McGill University neuroscientist Daniel Levitin—author of This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs—to present a very different kind of concert at Koerner Hall next Wednesday night. In ‘Beethoven and Your Brain,’ Outwater, his orchestra and Levitin are going to take the audience through the infamous Symphony No. 5, focusing on what has kept this music so fresh and compelling over the two centuries since its premiere. … The conductor and Levitin hit it off after an initial meeting two years ago, and co-wrote a big chunk of the evening’s script by trading emails during their busy schedules. Toronto gets the premiere performance. They repeat their experiment on Oct. 28 and 29 at the Conrad Centre in Kitchener, and hope that there will be interest farther afield in the future.”

Posted October 21, 2010