In Sunday’s (3/11) Sacramento Bee, Edward Ortiz writes, “The city of Stockton is dealing with a vexing brew of financial and social challenges—none of which is lost on the Stockton Symphony. The orchestra is celebrating its 85th year by commissioning a work that explores a subject many Stocktonians know well: conflict. Longtime music director Peter Jaffe has tapped Israeli-born composer Avner Dorman to write the work. … The result is the 30-minute work ‘Uzu and Muzu,’ which the orchestra performed Saturday at Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College. The work is an adaptation of a children’s book by Israeli author Ephraim Sidon. It tells of two brothers who quarrel over a trivial matter. The disagreement spurs the building of a wall down the middle of their home. Four generations later, there is reconciliation and the realization that the conflict was a pointless one. … Two weeks ago the orchestra convened a forum on conflict resolution at the city’s New Bethel Baptist Church; last week members participated in a forum at the city’s Mexican Heritage Center. … ‘This is an unusually dramatic example of how an orchestra sees itself as part of strengthening, helping, supporting and engaging a community,’ said Jesse Rosen, president of the New York City-based League of Symphony Orchestras. ‘They are really functioning like a catalyst in the community … this goes way beyond the realm of what they’re doing musically.’ ” The Stockton commission was made possible through Music Alive, a joint program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.
Posted March 12, 2012