A new golden age for contemporary orchestral works?

Posted on: April 9, 2015

“A few months ago, a little whoop of delight went up in certain online corners of the classical music world,” writes Joshua Kosman Wednesday’s (4/8) San Francisco Chronicle. “The North Carolina Symphony had announced its 2015-16 season, and the schedule was chock-full of music by living—in fact mostly young—composers,” including Sarah Kirkland Snider, Caroline Shaw, Andrew Norman, Sean Shepherd, Gabriel Kahane, and William Henry Curry, the orchestra’s resident conductor. “Now, you could turn around, as some commentators did, and use that track record as a stick with which to beat bigger and more established organizations.… But if you take a panoptic look around the American orchestral landscape—as I did the other day, digging up the coming seasons for 25 of the nation’s most prominent orchestras  … it’s hard to avoid the feeling that the state of contemporary orchestral music is now far better off than it was 20 or even 10 years ago.” Kosman discusses world premieres and contemporary works at the orchestras of New York, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, Utah, and Pittsburgh. “More troubling, as always, is the concentration on the music of white men.… Still … we may well be witnessing the beginning of a new golden age of orchestral composition.”

Posted April 9, 2015