Review: Alexander Prior’s unusual debut as Edmonton Symphony’s chief conductor

Posted on: September 22, 2017

“A late-night concert, starting at 9:30 p.m. in the Winspear [Center], might not seem the most obvious way of making your debut as the new Chief Conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra,” writes Mark Morris in Sunday’s (9/17) Edmonton Journal (Canada). “But that’s what Alexander Prior decided to do on Friday, and it was a triumphant start, doubtless heralding an evolution of the orchestra. The ESO’s late night concert series generally has a younger demographic than the mainstream series, and Prior himself, of course, is at 24 very much of the millennial generation. Tickets were $20 … and there was a public reception afterwards, complete with a DJ. Add to that, Prior decided to start his tenure with a work that few North American orchestras would even consider attempting: Jalons, by Xenakis.… It’s a difficult piece, but they pulled it off, and it was encouraging to hear such rapt attention from the very large audience.… Prior chose it because it is one his favourite pieces, as was the other work in the concert, Adams’ three-movement orchestral tour-de-force, Harmonielehre.… This was a committed and gripping performance that had the audience applauding after each movement, with an enthusiastic ovation at the end.”

 

Posted September 22, 2017