An Emmy for “Symphony in D” documentary

Congratulations to Dennis Scholl, Marlon Johnson and Tod Machover for taking home an Emmy for Best Cultural Documentary for the film of SYMPHONY IN D at the Michigan Emmy Awards last night! Check out the trailer above. Dennis Scholl and Marlon Johnson picked up the awards in Detroit (photo below). Tod had to stay home to work on his next opera, but he wrote to his co-producers: “Congratulations to the whole team. This was such a great collaboration, one I will never forget.”

Philadelphia Voices website launched

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Check out the new website for the latest Tod Machover City Symphony project, Philadelphia Voices. “Tod Machover and Opera of the Future launched the Collaborative City Symphony project in 2012, and since then have created collaborative symphonies with the cities of Toronto (Toronto Symphony Orchestra, 2013), Edinburgh (Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, 2013), Perth (Perth International Festival, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, 2014), Lucerne (Lucerne Festival, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, 2015), Detroit (Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Knight Foundation, 2015), and Miami (New World Symphony with Knight Foundation, 2017). Machover and his research group collaborated with these cities to explore new relationships between author/audience, composition/improvisation, music/noise, and online/onsite, while emphasizing the potential of each locale to inspire its citizens to engage with their community in a profound way through music. One of the most rewarding aspects of the City Symphonies project is that the processes employed to achieve the final work are designed to grow naturally out of each particular city and context. For this reason, all the City Symphonies realized to date by Tod Machover and the MIT Media Lab have differed widely in terms of use of imagery/video, interactive performance elements, incorporation of local musicians, balance of acoustic/electronic sounds, and overall aesthetic profile.”

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Kennedy Center Arts Summit today


From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Arrived in DC yesterday afternoon by train from Philly, into Union Station – grungy and dilapidated in the back, splendid in the front…a metaphor for something, perhaps??? Went to the speaker’s dinner for today’s Kennedy Center “Arts Summit”, hosted by Yo-Yo Ma. Was wonderful to see many old friends from around the world, and to meet some terrific new people, including arts leaders, “citizen artists” working in a huge array of media and styles, art patrons and collectors, etc. An intensely engaged group determined to help the arts not just thrive but also to become one of the great galvanizing, enriching and democratizing (in the best sense) forces in our society. There couldn’t be a more important moment – or more central place – to discuss and strategize. Info on today’s Arts Summit at https://www.kennedy-center.org/pages/specialevents/summit.

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Tod Machover’s “Philadelphia Voices” launch event May 4

Public launch of Tod Machover’s PHILADELPHIA VOICES project is this Thursday, May 4, at Verizon Hall in Philly, with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Commonwealth Youth Choirs. Come at 6:30 pm to try interactive technologies and mobile apps designed for the project, and hear musical examples onstage at 7:30. Then collaborate with the project team over the coming year to create this new City Symphony which will be premiered by the orchestra and numerous choirs – all conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin – in April 2018, including a performance at Carnegie Hall. Full information at tinyurl.com/PhillyVoicesLaunch.

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New City Symphony projects featured in The Atlantic

New World Symphony

New World Symphony

The Atlantic’s CityLab blog reports on Tod Machover’s two new city symphony projects, in Miami and Philadelphia. You can read it here: Turning Street Noise Into a City Symphony.

“Like so many things in our culture, there’s a growing gap between experts and ordinary people, and I thought music is such a great laboratory to show how things can be different,” says Machover. “So I wanted the project to be a representation of connecting people—no matter what their background was in music—as equals.”

Yannick Nézet-Séguin discusses new Machover project

In this interview, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, discusses Tod Machover’s “Philadelphia Voices,” a work commissioned for 2018. The orchestra is featuring American composers during its 2017-2018 season. Other works included the Bernstein Centenary featuring “West Side Story,” “Chichester Psalms,” and Symphony No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (“The Age of Anxiety”); Wynton Marsalis’s Violin Concerto; and Michael Tilson Thomas’s “Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind.”

Feb. 7: Tod Machover on Stravinsky

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Stravinsky: A Life in Progress
Tuesday, February 7 | 6pm

Part of the Opera Night at the Boston Public Library series
Boston Public Library Central Branch | Rabb Hall
Free and open to the public
Boston Public Library
Igor Stravinsky’s epic life and innovative works took him from Russia to France, Hollywood, and even Boston as he helped define – and redefine – music in the 20th century. Two renowned guest speakers — Tod Machover, Boston-based composer and co-founding member of the MIT Media Lab, and Joseph Auner, Stravinsky and music history scholar at Tufts University — survey Stravinsky life from his youthful innovations to the neoclassical period that culminated in his witty, classic opera The Rake’s Progress, to the musical experimentation that defined his later years, illuminated with live selections by BLO artists.

Read more about the speakers and events here.

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