Saturday, August 17, 2013

NPR: Why are American orchestras afraid of new symphonies?

Normally articles that have titles that end in question marks are inane rhetorical questions (personal opinion, any article written by Graeme McMillan for Spinoff).  This article, however, delves a bit into one conductor's view about how and why American symphonies don't back new works.  We could have a big old discussion about the contemporary place of the symphony has become the soundtrack of the blockbuster rather than as a "pure music" venue that was replete with programmatic digressions and stories to imbue meaning into abstract music.  If anything a person could playfully make the case that the symphony has ultimately gone Hollywood, which was where symphonists seemed determined to take the whole genre for centuries.  If Beethoven were alive today I don't think he'd mind that his Ninth shows up in the first Die Hard movie just so long as he got the royalty checks.  :) 

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