Commemorating JFK in Dallas with world premiere

Posted on: November 26, 2013

In Monday’s (11/25) New York Times, James Oestreich writes about multiple events last week in Dallas marking the 50 years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated, including performances by the Dallas Symphony at Meyerson Symphony Center. “The World Is Very Different Now, the young Conrad Tao’s new piece in the Dallas Symphony program … plays personal against public, taking its origin, in Mr. Tao’s words, from ‘the many devastatingly personal stories that use J.F.K.’s assassination as a starting point,’ responses to ‘a seemingly inexplicable act of public violence.’ … It was hard to take the measure of the piece at all on first hearing, since the performance was overwhelmed by strong but distracting visual images from a film commissioned for these performances but not an integral part of the work. So I went back to hear Mr. Tao’s piece again on Friday evening, this time with eyes firmly closed, and it proved shapely and powerful, especially in its haunting, accepting if not optimistic coda. At 19, Mr. Tao knows his way around a large orchestra (here including scrap metal as percussion) as well as many an elder master. He was helped immeasurably by the Dallas Symphony and Jaap van Zweden, its music director since 2008, who performed superbly in both concerts.”

Posted November 26, 2013