Tower’s personality speaks through her music

Posted on: October 22, 2010

In Thursday’s (10/21) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Andrew Druckenbrod writes, “Rarely do the music of a composer and her personality match as well as those of Joan Tower. After only a few minutes into a conversation with the gregarious, thoughtful and intense woman, her inviting and energetic music makes even more sense. Hardly a point is made without a hearty, easygoing laugh—the sort of warm color that streams through her rhythmically charged music. … This season, patrons of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will get a closer look at—and listen to—this ‘uncommon’ woman of American composition as she serves as the orchestra’s composer of the year. The orchestra will perform six of her works, including the world premiere ‘Stroke.’ … Like many American composers, Ms. Tower was first embroiled in the modernist academic movement of the 1950s and ‘60s that put a premium on severe, often un-rhythmic, music using all 12 tones of the scale. … Luckily, Ms. Tower had a creative outlet as a virtuosic pianist and she co-founded the Da Capo Chamber Players in 1969. The constant connection to audiences helped to form her aesthetic.” The orchestra performs Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman and Made in America October 21-23 under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.

Photo by Noah Sheldon

Posted October 22, 2010