Brahms/Radiohead, one of Steve Hackman’s pop-classical orchestral mashups

Posted on: January 5, 2018

While in his twenties, conductor Steve Hackman “began writing arrangements of pop hits for fellow Curtis [Institute] alums Time for Three, a classical trio,” writes Brett Campbell in Wednesday’s (1/3) Willamette Week (Willamette, OR). “That led to a series of jobs—in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Colorado—running the alt-classical programs…. A few years ago, Chapman … fused a quintessential Romantic symphonic classic, Brahms’ 1876 Symphony #1, with songs from Radiohead’s landmark 1997 album OK Computer. He’ll conduct it with the Oregon Symphony and three singers this week…. Sometimes the [Radiohead] songs float above Brahms’ music, others are interpolated between movements…. Brahms vs. Radiohead set the template for Hackman’s subsequent pop-classical mashups: Bon Iver with Copland, Coldplay with Beethoven, Bjork with Bartok, even his own original music with Stravinsky. (He’s also promised to do Kid A eventually.) … Hackman, who grew up on pop music, competed on American Idol and has also recorded albums as a singer-songwriter, praises orchestras like the Oregon Symphony for their recent embrace of many such pop-classical hybrids…. ‘By the end, you will have heard the entirety of Brahms’ first symphony, and I guarantee you’re gonna be curious to hear more.’ ”

Posted January 5, 2018