South Bend Symphony’s Alastair Willis to pair Beethoven with living composers

Posted on: September 19, 2017

Alastair Willis, whose debut as music director of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra will take place on September 23, is the subject of Andrew Hughes’s profile in Sunday’s (9/17) South Bend Tribune (Indiana). Willis says he plans to perform “all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies from 2018 to 2021…. The cycle would entail three symphonies per year for the second, third and fourth years of his tenure. ‘That’s only half the equation,’ Willis says. ‘The other half is how we present those symphonies and what we pair them with.’ For that, he turned to Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop’s example for inspiration. ‘She came up with the idea … to pair the Beethovens with a living composer who, in 200 years, people may say was another Beethoven,’ … he says…. He succeeds Maestro Tsung Yeh after his 28 years as the SBSO’s music director…. In 2016, he completed a four-year tenure as music director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra…. Willis … says he remains as excited now to begin as when the SBSO offered him the position in late April. ‘There’s so much potential,’ he says.… ‘I just feel so lucky to have been chosen.’ ”

Posted September 19, 2017