South Dakota Symphony marks 100 years with recent works, and world premiere by John Luther Adams

Posted on: May 17, 2022

“The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the musical pride of Sioux Falls, … celebrated its centennial this season, in ambitious style,” writes Alex Ross in Monday’s (5/16) New Yorker. “The roster of composers included not only Beethoven, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky but also Stephen Yarbrough, David M. Gordon, Jessie Montgomery, Anna Clyne, George Walker, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, and Malek Jandali…. The season ended with a program that [included] a sprawling new score by John Luther Adams…. [When] Jennifer Teisinger, the orchestra’s executive director, asked former members of the ensemble to stand up … dozens [of audience members] rose to their feet. Nothing of the sort could have happened in New York, Los Angeles, London, or Berlin…. ‘An Atlas of Deep Time’ … lasts around forty-five minutes…. The formal structure is modelled on the basin-and-range topography of western North America…. As often with Adams, I had the sense of entering a physically palpable space… My thoughts went to Willa Cather, who grew up in Nebraska…. In a famous passage in ‘My Antonia,’ Cather contemplated the unending vistas of the plains and wrote of the joy of being ‘dissolved into something complete and great.’… ‘An Atlas of Deep Time’ afforded the same uncanny pleasure.”