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Monday, May 7, 2012

Coiled Anticipation: Spring For Music 2012

The festival returns to Carnegie Hall for its second season.
by Paul Pelkonen
Spring for Music. This is not the logo or anything.
Starting Monday night, Carnegie Hall opens its venerated doors to the Spring For Music Festival, six concerts with lesser-known North American orchestras playing a combination of 20th and 21st-century repertory from deep corners of the repertory. 

Sounds exciting?

Did we mention that all tickets for these concerts are dirt cheap at $25?.

I don't read Russian, but he's clearly urging you to buy tickets.
Monday, May 7
The festival opens with the Houston Symphony Orchestra offering a program of little-heard works by Dmitri Shostakovich. The program features the composer's Symphony No. 11 (The Year 1905) a propaganda piece from the 1950s that recalls the events of the first Russian Revolution. Hans Graf conducts.

Tuesday, May 8
The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra had the longest journey of any orchestra at the festival, coming from this cold city in northern Alberta. Their program featuring three U.S. premieres and the First Symphony by important 20th century Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů. William Eddins conducts. 
Ferruccio Busoni's Piano Concerto is an example of success through excess.
Wednesday, May 9
The most anticipated program of this week (for this writer anyway) has the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra playing Ferruccio Busoni's heroic five-movement Piano Concerto, a massive, unusual work that incorporates a chorus into its final movement. The athletic, demanding solo part is played by Canadian virtuoso Marc-André Hamelin. Jacques Lacombe conducts.

Thursday, May 10
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra plays on Thursday night. Their program features New York premieres by modern composers Paul Lansky and Avner Dorman, alongside the Seventh Symphony by that young hopeful Ludwig van Beethoven. Music director Justin Brown conducts. 

Friday, May 11
The sounds of the heartland will be heard on Friday night, as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will play under the baton of Edo de Waart. Mr. de Waart, whose last appearance in New York was at the Metropolitan Opera conducting Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier offers an intriguing program of works by Chen Qigang, Messiaen, and Debussy's much-loved series of symphonic sketches La Mer.

Saturday, May 12
The festival ends with a powerhouse program featuring the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Giancarlo Guerrero will offer the New York premiere of a realized version of Charles Ives' complex Universe Symphony. British composer Terry Riley's Concerto for Electric Violin and Orchestra will also get a hearing, The program concludes with Percy Grainger's double-barreled masterpiece The Warriors.

To order tickets for Spring For Music, visit the official website of Carnegie Hall.
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.