With Del Tredici’s “Bullycide,” a musical response to gay teen suicides

Posted on: August 12, 2013

In Sunday’s (8/11) San Diego Union-Tribune, James Chute writes about David Del Tredici’s Bullycide for string quartet plus piano and double bass, which will be premiered Friday at San Diego’s SummerFest. “The distinguished, 76-year-old composer … decided more than a decade ago to write music about the gay experience. ‘At a certain point, I decided to be proud of being gay, if you want to put it that way, rather than it just being something I accepted,’ Del Tredici said… Del Tredici’s [newest] piece references five gay teens who took their own lives: Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Zack Harrington and Seth Walsh.… ‘There are so many gay poets, and they’ve written all sorts of very gay poetry, but it doesn’t seem to make its way into classical music. That’s the thing. Classical music is very, what do you want to say, conservative? Very conservative, even though, ironically, so many people who are gay are in classical music in every aspect of it.’ Much of Del Tredici’s overtly gay music has been settings of texts, whether a song cycle called ‘Gay Life’ or a 10-minute piece for baritone and piano he wrote in response to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998.”

Posted August 12, 2013