Seeking Something New? MTC Marathon Features 31 Composers

Seeking Something New? MTC Marathon Features 31 Composers

“The Works, ” a festival of contemporary music June 8 and 9, 2002.

Written By

Molly Sheridan

Works by John Harbison, Martin Bresnick, Terry Riley, Anthony Davis, Zhou Long, Mary Ellen Childs, Eve Beglarian, Stephen Paulus, Oliver Lake. Want more? How about Ernest Dawkins, Osvaldo Golijov, Carolyn Yarnell, Scott Lindroth, Steve Adams, Chinary Ung, Tim Berne, Robert Beaser, Ricky Ian Gordon, Eric Stokes, David Baker, Libby Larsen, Randall Davidson, Julia Wolfe, John Corigliano, Jin Hi Kim, John Luther Adams, Wadada Leo Smith, Milton Babbitt, and Fred Frith.

Music penned by all these composers will be featured when Meet The Composer does some much-deserved showing off during “The Works, ” their two-day festival of contemporary music June 8 and 9, 2002 at The Southern Theater in Minneapolis, MN. Composers, musicians, producers, presenters, and the public will have the opportunity to gather together to discuss the creation and presentation process, as well as hear just some of 2,000 new works added to the repertoire under the auspices of Meet The Composer commissions over the past 15 years.

Location, location! The Southern Theater
Photo by Stephen Kmetz

MTC President Heather A. Hitchens says the idea for the marathon grew out of a desire to showcase the work of composers MTC has supported over the years and to encourage subsequent performances of these works by creating an event where composers and the country’s leading producers, presenters and performers could be brought together under one roof.

“The intense schedule or marathon format was chosen for a couple of reasons,” Hitchens explains. “First, we wanted to attract producers and presenters from around the country, and a single-day event made it easier for them to be there. Second, there is something very exciting and alive about a marathon, and this, of course, is a great fit with the repertoire we are presenting.”

Despite the concentration of new music activity in New York and Los Angeles, MTC chose to host the weekend event in Minneapolis. For those with a coastal bias, Hitchens points out that Minneapolis just has a lot to offer. “We chose Minneapolis because of its rich musical history, because of our long association with and support for Minneapolis-based composers and cultural organizations, and because of the quality of performers and ensembles who are based there. We also chose Minneapolis because we wanted to make a statement about the fact that we are a national organization.”

A number of local Minnesota ensembles will play Saturday during the noon to midnight marathon, including Zeitgeist, Artaria String Quartet, as well as Rova Saxophone Quartet and Maya Beiser and Steve Schick, who were the original commissioning groups, and soloists such as Kathy Supové. Many of the composers, representing a range of ages, styles, and experience, will be on hand to chat with event MC and NewMusicBox Editor Frank J. Oteri and audience members before each piece is performed. NewMusicBox is planning to webcast the entire event in the fall of 2002.

On June 9, MTC will host an open dialogue devoted to topics relating to the creation, production, and presentation of new work. These sessions are designed to allow time for in-depth, multi-perspective discussion. A concert of Rova Saxophone Quartet works performed by the ensemble will follow that evening at 8 p.m.

“I hope people will walk away from the event excited and exuberant about new music,” Hitchens adds. “And leave understanding the rich variety of music that is being created by today’s composers.”