Conrad Tao on his New York Philharmonic commission, “Everything Must Go”

Posted on: September 25, 2018

“Twenty-four-year-old pianist-composer Conrad Tao is no stranger to major orchestra audiences worldwide,” writes Don Clark in Wednesday’s (9/19) “On September 27th, he will add the New York Philharmonic … to his roster with the world premiere of his latest composition Everything Must Go. Q: Give our readers some specifics on the program and your new work. Tao: Everything Must Go was … written to be performed before Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony…. The piece utilizes some traditional ‘overture’ signifiers—for instance, an opening fanfare comprising double- and triple-dotted rhythms, the traditional French overture figuration…. The piece also grew out of an image I could not quite shake: the image of a cathedral melting. Q: Would a listener hear some Brucknerian sonorities in your work? Tao: The harmonic and timbral world of my piece definitely lives in reverberations from the Bruckner. Q: What are some of the reasons you named a work designed to be a curtain raiser, Everything Must Go? Tao: This world, exploitative and entitled and nihilistic, is not sustainable. So: everything must go. But at whose hands? And what do we do with this world until then? And what might the world look like when everything has gone?”

Posted September 25, 2018