Stockton Symphony hopes to soothe area issues with premiere, community connections

Posted on: March 9, 2012

In an article Wednesday (3/7) on the National Public Radio website, Paul Conley reports “On Thursday night, the Stockton Symphony will premiere a new piece it has commissioned from noted Israeli composer Avner Dorman that it hopes will help address the city’s longstanding cultural and racial divides. Jane Kenworthy, the orchestra’s executive director, says that the performing arts need to be part of the community’s healing. ‘Our orchestras need to be embedded in the community and not sitting above it, behind the concert hall doors,’ she says, adding that Dorman brought a certain kind of background knowledge to Stockton’s dilemmas. ‘He got it right away,’ she says. ‘You know, Avner’s from Israel. And, my God, if there was ever a place where they’re dealing with daily conflict and people who don’t talk to each other, Israel’s a place.’ … The symphony co-sponsored art and writing contests with the local newspaper and museum addressing themes of conflict and resolution. And it held forums, such as one that took place at the Mexican Heritage Center in downtown Stockton. After a short presentation by Dorman, audience members talked about what walls they believe need to come down.” The Stockton commission was made possible through Music Alive, a joint program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.

Photo of Avner Dorman by R.R. Jones

Posted March 9, 2012