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Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music to Celebrate Generation of '38

By Vivien Schweitzer
25 May 2007


The 2007 Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood will focus on composers of the "Generation of '38," in a celebration of the many prominent American composers born that year (or within a year before or after).

The offerings at the festival — which runs from July 29 to August 3 — include music of William Bolcom, John Corigliano, Joan Tower, Charles Wuorinen and John Harbison. Harbison is chairman of the Tanglewood Music Center's composition program and will also serve as the festival's director.

The festival opens on the morning of July 29 with the New Fromm Players performing Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's String Quartet No. 2, Harvey Sollberger's The Advancing Moment, David Borden's electronic work Earth Journeys: For Alvin Curran and the world premiere of a score by young American composer Jason Eckardt.

That evening's concert focuses on vocal works, including David Del Tredici's I Hear an Army, John Heiss's Songs on James Joyce, Borden's Earth Journeys: For John Harbison, Olly Wilson's Sometimes and the world premiere of Charles Fussell's Venture.

The focus shifts to film music on July 30, with showings of films featuring scores by Philip Glass, Paul Chihara and Stanley Silverman.

The FCM's chamber music concert on July 31 includes performances of Harbison's Abu Ghraib for cello and piano, Ellsworth Milburn's Bagatelles for piano and percussion, David Chaitkin's Three Dances for piano and the world premieres of new works by William Thomas McKinley and Mason Bates.

On August 1, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra performs music for soloist and orchestra: Corigliano's Troubadours for guitar and orchestra (featuring guitarist Eliot Fisk), Bolcom's Whitman Triptych for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, Wuorinen's Rhapsody for violin and orchestra and Tower's Strike Zones for solo percussion and orchestra.

The boundary-blurring, jazz-oriented Julius Hemphill Sextet will perform on August 2; the concert also features improvisations by Musica Elettronica Viva, whose members — Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski and Richard Teitelbaum — are all composers of the Generation of '38.

The 2007 FCM closes on August 3 with James Levine conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Harbison's Concerto for Bass Viol and Orchestra, with BSO principal double bassist Edwin Barker as soloist; the program also includes Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 18, with Richard Goode as soloist, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 8.




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