New NJSO institute spotlights four early-career composers

Posted on: July 21, 2014

In Friday’s (7/18) Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), Ronni Reich previews the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Saturday concert featuring music by four early-career composers in the inaugural Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, which took place last week and was led by composer Steven Mackey. The composers have “spent the week in rehearsals, coachings and master classes…. ‘We were looking at different personalities, people who we felt already had enough experience but also could benefit from working with Steve, the orchestra and myself,’ said music director Jacques Lacombe…. The program begins with ‘Scaena Ager’ by Daniel J. Choi, a recent graduate of the University of Miami.… David Biedenbender … has written ‘Strange, Beautiful Noises’ for the occasion.… Lembit Beecher’s ‘Kalevipoeg in California,’ says Lacombe, has hints of minimalism.… The night concludes with Chris Rogerson’s ‘Night and the City,’ which Lacombe compares to a festive overture that sometimes recalls Aaron Copland and John Williams…. The institute has exposed the composers to comments from members of the orchestra…. Throughout the week, they have tweaked and edited their pieces as the NJSO has provided guidance.… There is the possibility that these new works will find their way into regular NJSO seasons, and Lacombe notes that the orchestra’s audiences have become increasingly interested in contemporary music.”

Posted July 21, 2014