San Francisco Symphony to premiere collaborative work, with Salonen and multiple partners

Posted on: October 27, 2020

“Unable to deliver a splashy welcome for new Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen at Davies Symphony Hall this fall, the San Francisco Symphony is instead capitalizing on his tech-savvy spirit with an online, multi-level collaborative project by composer Nico Muhly,” writes Brian Wise in Friday’s (10/23) Musical America (subscription required). “Titled Throughline, the 13 movements, described by the composer as ‘mini concertos,’ will each spotlight different configurations of orchestra players; eight of the 13 highlight a ‘collaborative partner’ that Salonen tapped when he was first appointed. Along with Muhly, they are pianist Nicholas Britell, soprano Julia Bullock, flutist Claire Chase, guitarist Bryce Dessner, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, computer scientist and roboticist Carol Reiley, and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding. Set to premiere on November 14, the piece will cap an hour-long video production that also includes chamber works by John Adams, Ellen Reid, Kev Choice, and Beethoven. It will be streamed for free from the orchestra’s website … and broadcast locally on KQED Public Television…. Muhly, serving as conductor, led the differently configured, socially distanced chamber ensembles at Davies Hall…. The piece’s finale incorporates Salonen’s conducting gestures, filmed at his home in Finland, and serving as a kind of visual rhythmic counterpart to the music.”