Seattle Symphony premieres work for orchestra and improvising guitarist

Posted on: October 30, 2015

On Wednesday (10/28) at Seattle public radio station KUOW, Marcie Sillman writes that Wayne Horvitz “never imagined himself in a symphony hall. But that’s where he’ll be when the Seattle Symphony Orchestra premieres his latest composition on Thursday, Oct. 29,” Concerto for Orchestra and Improviser. The piece, “inspired in part by the poetry of Seattle native Richard Hugo,” is presented as part of the orchestra’s “Sonic Evolutions” series, in partnership with Earshot Jazz. In 1988, “Horvitz and his wife Robin Holcomb were fixtures in New York’s downtown music scene [along] with musicians like Butch Morris, John Zorn and Horvitz’ longtime friend, guitarist Bill Frisell.” After moving to Seattle, “Horvitz has been closely associated with jazz artists like Frisell.… Improvisation is a key feature of many of his compositions and his live performances…. The performance will feature the entire symphony with guitarist Frisell.” Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot says that Horvitz, “creates his own language and vocabulary by taking that very different approach through improvisation.” Horvitz says, “The way I look at it is personal language. Mozart wrote all sorts of pieces, but they all have his language. Thelonius Monk, you always see his language. I hope that’s true with my music.”

Posted October 30, 2015

Pictured: Guitarist Bill Frisell, soloist in a new work for orchestra and guitar by Wayne Horvitz. The Seattle Symphony gave the world premiere on October 29 at Benaroya Hall as part of its “Sonic Evolutions” series.