Portland Symphony honors local composer’s birthday with premiere

Posted on: January 7, 2011

In Thursday’s (1/6) Times Record (Brunswick, Maine), Scott Andrews writes, “The dean of Maine classical music composers turns 75 on Jan. 19, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra has honored him with a commission for a new work that will be premiered at its Jan. 25 concert. The composer is South Freeport resident Elliott Schwartz, who taught at Bowdoin College from 1964 through 2007 and remains active with the local music community. Schwartz’s new work is titled ‘Diamond Jubilee,’ and many variations on basic themes of recollection and reflection infuse and inspire the piece. ‘The grand plan was to use the occasion of the birthday as a sort of springboard for a piece of music which is based on my memories of the past 75 years,’ said Schwartz. Although Schwartz eschews the notion of creating a biographical work, he notes that it can be considered an artistic retrospective, and he has woven references to his own musical journey from his childhood to the present day throughout the 18-minute piece. … Two major works by 20th-century Russian composers fill the balance of maestro Robert Moody’s program.”

Posted January 7, 2011