In Los Angeles, honoring six iconoclastic composers who died recently

Posted on: April 26, 2022

“When Harrison Birtwistle died Monday at 87, he became the sixth pioneering composer who came to prominence in the 1960s that we lost in less than nine months,” writes Mark Swed in Saturday’s (4/23) Los Angeles Times. “This uncompromising British modernist, along with Holland’s most important composer, Louis Andriessen, and Americans Frederic Rzewski, George Crumb, Alvin Lucier and William Kraft, helped to bring about revolutionary ways in which music could be made, performed, distributed and considered…. Tuesday, Los Angeles Philharmonic principal timpanist Joseph Pereira [gave a] splendid performance of Kraft’s solo percussion piece ‘Encounters I: Soliloquy’ at Walt Disney Concert Hall. ‘Encounters’ was added to the … concert by the L.A. Phil New Music Group, which Kraft founded. Three days earlier, across the street at the Colburn School, Piano Spheres … held a six-hour appreciation of Rzewski…. A week before that, the L.A. Phil’s ‘Noon to Midnight’ new music festival … included … Crumb’s celestial ‘Makrokosmos’ series … as well as … Andriessen’s ‘De Staat.’ ” The article discusses performances of works by these composers and their successors, adding, “The L.A. Phil is surely the only orchestra anywhere to have programmed these six composers of the great postwar generation not just over the years, but in this very season.”