Mackey’s concerto for electric guitar and violin heads to Hartford Symphony

Posted on: December 9, 2016

“In the early 1990s, Princeton composer Steven Mackey started to explore the sonic relationship between the electric guitar—his chosen instrument—and the violin,” writes Michael Hamad in Wednesday’s (12/7) Hartford Courant (CT). “He’s still at it; on Friday through Sunday, Mackey performs ‘Four Iconoclastic Episodes,’ a double concerto for violin and electric guitar that premiered in 2009, with violinist Sirena Huang and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, conducted by music director Carolyn Kwan…. Q: What attracted you to the pairing of the violin and the electric guitar? A: Twenty-plus years ago, I wrote … ‘Physical Property’ for string quartet and electric guitar…. A slightly distorted electric guitar … actually goes very well with stringed instruments…. It ended up being very successful. … Q: In 2016, are there still orchestra-goers whose noses get wrinkly at the idea of an electric guitar entering the symphony hall? A: Absolutely. When I started doing this in the mid-1980s, noses wrinkled everywhere, even when I played with a string quartet or on some contemporary music concert. Nowadays, it’s really common to see an electric guitar at a contemporary music concert or festival.”

Posted December 9, 2016