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Morning Concert:
New Music: When and Where? A Critique of the San Francisco Symphony

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 135 min
Event Type: Lecture / Panel Discussion Program Origin: KPFA

In 1988 and 1989, a spate of articles and letters to the “San Francisco Chronicle” raised the question: “Is the San Francisco Symphony too radical in its programming of contemporary music?” In this program, recorded on Jan. 13, 1989, Charles Amirkhanian hosts a panel discussion, complete with musical examples, addressing this question. Participants include Michael Steinberg, Artistic Advisor to the Symphony and writer of the exemplary program notes which are distributed to concert-goers weekly, “San Francisco Chronicle” music critic Robert Commanday, and Mark Volkert, composer and assistant Concertmaster, whose public criticism on the brand of new music programmed by the Symphony has enlivened the dialogue. The four men discuss the history of contemporary music programming at the Symphony and how it compares to other large orchestras, including the question of how much rehearsal time is dedicated to new or difficult compositions. After an hour long discussion the phone lines are then opened up and many listeners call in with their opinions and insightful ideas, thus making for a quite thorough review of contemporary orchestral music in the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite having been recorded over twenty years ago, a time since which much minimal and serial music has gradually become more accepted by more of the concert going audience, the issues discussed by this learned panel continue to be relevant today.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  A Symphony of Three Orchestras [excerpt] (1976) (2:54) / Elliott Carter -- A Mirror on Which to Dwell: Insomnia, for soprano and instrumental ensemble [text by Elizabeth Bishop] (1976) (2:34) / Elliott Carter -- Shaker Loops, for string orchestra [excerpt] (1983) (0:32) / John Adams
Performers:  New York Philharmonic (Symphony)
Pierre Boulez, conductor (Symphony)
Susan Davenny-Wyner, soprano (Mirror)
Speculum Musicae (Mirror)
Richard Fitz, conductor (Mirror)
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Shaker)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; 20th century classical; New music; Symphonies; Song cycles; Songs (High voice) with instrumental ensemble; Minimal music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Steinberg, Michael, 1928-; Volkert, Mark; Commanday, Robert; Carter, Elliott, 1908-2012; Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979; Boulez, Pierre, 1925-2016; Davenny-Wyner, Susan; Fitz, Richard
Recording Date:  1/13/1989
First Broadcast Date:  1/13/1989
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  The Golden Dance, for orchestra [excerpt] (1986) (2:12) / Charles Wuorinen -- Sinfonietta, for small orchestra [final movement] (1980) (6:16) / Mark Volkert -- A Symphony of Three Orchestras [excerpt] (1976) (0:27) / Elliott Carter
Performers:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Golden ; Sinfonietta)
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor (Golden)
Paul Renzi, flute (Sinfonietta)
Edo de Waart, conductor (Sinfonietta)
New York Philharmonic (Symphony)
Pierre Boulez, conductor (Symphony)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; 20th century classical; New music; Orchestral music; Symphonies
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Steinberg, Michael, 1928-; Volkert, Mark; Commanday, Robert; Wuorinen, Charles ; Blomstedt, Herbert, 1927- ; Renzi, Paul ; Waart, Edo de; Carter, Elliott, 1908-2012; Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979; Boulez, Pierre, 1925-2016
Recording Date:  1/13/1989
First Broadcast Date:  1/13/1989
 
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