Music Academy of the West: nine world premieres, ten composers in residence this summer

Posted on: July 6, 2017

“How many 70-year-olds successfully revive the spirit of their youth?” writes Tom Jacobs in Friday’s (6/30) San Francisco Classical Voice. “Santa Barbara is home to at least one such septuagenarian: The Music Academy of the West. Founded in 1947, the festival has long been a prestigious place for young musicians on the cusp of professional careers to hone their skills. But in recent decades, it has hardly been a hotbed of new music. That’s actually a fair description of this year’s festival, which continues through Aug. 5.… Premieres are sprinkled liberally throughout the many public concerts, and noted composers will be on hand to play, conduct, and/or talk about their work. Patrick Posey, the festival’s vice-president for artistic planning and educational programming, insists this actually marks a return to tradition. In its early years, he notes, the Music Academy hosted many composers, and gave many premieres.” Posey says the return to roots “started small, as we built relationships with composers.… We have 11 premieres this summer, and two more post-season. Nine of those are world premieres, and seven are Music Academy commissions. All in all, we’ll have 10 composers-in-residence over the summer.”

Posted July 6, 2017