“Symphony for the Koreas” launch event

From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

“I am excited to be going to Korea in a few weeks to participate in the Lindenbaum Music Festival. Invited by Festival director and violinist Hyung Joon Won, and collaborating with conductor Toshi Shimada of Yale and grad student Hane Lee from the MIT Media Lab, we will be presenting a glimpse of previous City Symphonies and also premiering a “launch composition” for a “Symphony for the Koreas”. Preparing it all now…so stay tuned!”

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“Schoenberg in Hollywood” tickets now on sale

Mark your calendars and reserve your tickets for Tod Machover’s newest opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood, premiering this November in Boston. Commissioned by the Boston Lyric Opera, the BLO’s website describes the work as “a searing, intimate portrait” of one of the 20th century’s most radical and influential artists.

The brilliant composer Arnold Schoenberg fled the darkness and despair of Hitler’s Europe and found himself in 1930s Hollywood—a bold, new world of golden sunshine and camera-ready beauty. Can he find a way to reconcile reflection with action, and tradition with revolution? What is the meaning of art in the wake of atrocity?

In this World Premiere from BLO’s New Works Initiative, internationally acclaimed composer Tod Machover, based in Boston, along with librettist Simon Robson, explores a great artist’s personal struggle, finding humor, heroism, and—ultimately—hope.

Information about the performance and creative team, as well as tickets, are available here.

BBC radio documentary on “The Making of Philadelphia Voices”

Reporter Andrea Shea delves into the creation of Tod Machover’s newest symphonic work, “Philadelphia Voices.”

From the famous Mummers’ New Year’s Day Parade to the sizzling of celebrated cheesesteaks, acclaimed U.S composer and inventor Tod Machover has been collecting sounds for his latest piece ‘Philadelphia Voices,’ a composition inspired by the heritage, sights and sounds of Philadelphia, the city known as the birthplace of American democracy.

Then in his barn studio, next to his Boston home, he manipulates these hours and hours of recording, crafting them into the music and soundscape for the piece. We also have behind the scenes access as the composition receives its premiere performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and local choirs.

Listen HERE.

Praise for “Philadelphia Voices” and Ben Bloomberg!

Music critic Bernard Jacobson in his review for Seen and Heard International writes that “Philadelphia Voices” “comes across as a creation open to the world and indeed drawing on an omnivorous variety of materials ranging from the literary, by way of quotations from our contemporaries, to evocations of visual, social, and traditional elements that vividly express the character of this one specific corner of the world. Continue reading

“Philadelphia Voices” Q&A

MIT composer Tod Machover, center-left, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, center-right, at the conclusion of Machover’s new symphony “Philadelphia Voices,” at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 6, 2018.
Image: Jessica Griffin/Philadelphia Orchestra

Tod Machover’s newest symphonic work, “Philadelphia Voices”, is both a sonic portrait of the city and a message from the city to the world, the composer explains in this Q&A interview with the MIT News Office. Machover discusses the germination of the piece, its evolution as he spoke to hundreds of Philadelphians, and how the music conveys ideas about individualism, freedom, conflict, and community.

There’s a moment where the conductor steps aside and lets the orchestra and the chorus follow these individual songs. And to me, it’s a feeling of democracy, in a messy city like Philadelphia which is wonderfully vibrant, but where not everybody is following the same tune, and not everybody is following the conductor. You feel the individuality of each of these choruses and of the individual singers, representing the kind of democracy — and the kind of listening to each other — that is most needed right now.

Read the interview here: Q&A: Composer Tod Machover presents “Philadelphia Voices”

BBC feature on “Philadelphia Voices”

Short but really well done radio piece on PHILADELPHIA VOICES on the BBC World Service, starting at 43:27 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w172w71npzrxglp). The BBC packs a huge amount of information into this short interview, with musical examples. And after the interview, the journalist and two guests continue to discuss what was said about the new piece, about city field recording and about Philadelphia. Definitely worth a listen!

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