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.
From Tod Machover’s Facebook:
“Project 305 premiered last night at the New World Symphony in Miami, and went really well. This was the first major CITY SYMPHONY that I mentored and guided, with major creative work done by videographer Jon David Kane and composer Ted Hearne. Miami came shining through (although the global warming/you’re-gonna-be-submerged-in-water theme was quite somber), as did the CITY SYMPHONY model, which clearly can scale and travel.”
For background, check out this Huffington Post article: Project 305 and The New World Symphony
Tod Machover – composer, inventor and professor at the MIT Media Lab – began his career as the first Director of Musical Research at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM institute in Paris. His Re-Structures for 2 Pianos and Electronics was commissioned in 2015 by the Lucerne Festival, and was premiered there to celebrate Boulez’s 90th birthday. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Re-Structures “morphs from hardcore 1950s serialism into fresh, rhythmically driving, all-cylinders-firing, electronically enhanced Machover…Thrilling!” The work – which was recently recorded by Quattro Mani for Bridge Records – will receive its East Coast premiere by acclaimed piano duo Quattro Mani on November 13 at ArtScience Gallery in Cambridge, AM, and New York City premiere on November 15 at Carnegie Hall. Continue reading
For your listening pleasure, here’s an excellent version of the “Symphony in D” recording. And here’s a new press release just out about the symphony and Tod Machover’s “Composer of the Year” award.
“Imagination is the strongest tool we have. The reason that we make music is of course to reach our audiences, but also to change the world, and nothing less than that is worth doing.” -Tod Machover
Symphony in D, the symphony written for and by the people of Detroit, premiered November 20 and 21 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and was lauded by the press for its uniqueness of sound and for bringing vast numbers of people from all different communities together through music and technology. Anticipated by nearly every local publication and a great many nationally and internationally, the “love letter to Detroit” (Hyperallergic) was commissioned by the DSO and conducted by Leonard Slatkin, resulting in “big, amassing smorgasbords that invariably proved exhilarating” (Musical America) and “made Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand look like a chamber piece” (Classical Voice North America). Read articles from TheNew York Times, BBC World Service, Associated Press, USA Today, andMusical America….
Musical America 2015 honorees from left: Mark Padmore, Jennifer Koh, Gil Rose, Tod Machover and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Named 2016 Composer of the Year by Musical America, Tod Machover has captivated audiences worldwide with innovative musical technologies of his own invention and brilliant, passionate scores. Machover, alongside the other outstanding Musical America awardees, was honored at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall on December 8. Mark Swed, music critic at the Los Angeles Times, describes Machover as “the true futurist,” his work as “a vast network of musical neurons enthusiastically making connections between musical traditions, past and present, not normally joined,” in his feature article written for Musical America.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra | Conductor Matthias Pintscher
Tod Machover (* 1953)
A symphony for Lucerne
Commissioned by LUCERNE FESTIVAL | premiere
From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:
“What a remarkable premiere yesterday of A SYMPHONY FOR LUCERNE at the LUCERNE FESTIVAL. We gave a pre-intermission “Making Of…” presentation and then played the new work. Matthias Pintscher and theLUCERNE FESTIVAL Academy Orchestra played brilliantly, beautifully. All of the Lucerne performers who we invited to participate – Der Chor Luzern, the Kinderchor des Schulhauses Grenzhof, organist Wolfgang Sieber, and the explosive Barfuessfäger Guggenmusik band – all contributed to the quite diverse but (I think:) integrated portrait of this gorgeous, delicate, complex and characterful city. Electronics and acoustics blended just right (thanks to Ben Bloomberg’s perfect mixing), pros and amateurs complemented each other as I had imagined, mosaic-like textures and sweeping melodies co-existed and supported each other, and the public responded with a warm, loud and long standing ovation. It felt like everyone’s contribution was appreciated, which is what one always hopes. The fact that a high-quality filming was done by Oliver Becker and his team means that the work – and this special premiere – can be shared with all, quite soon I think. Pretty much a perfect premiere, and a reminder of why we do these crazy projects – to bring people together in unexpected, powerful and indelible ways.”