Saturday, May 19, 2007

3 Weeks, 3 New Works at the ASO

For three weeks in a row, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is performing new works.

This week (which means tonight, SAT 5/19 @ 8pm is the final performance) ASO principal contrabassist Ralph Jones is soloist and Laura Jackson conducts the Concerto for Bass Viol (2006) by John Harbison.

This coming week (THU 5/24, FRI 5/25 & SAT 5/26 @ 8pm) features premiere performance of the "complete" The Garden of Cosmic Speculation by Michael Gandolfi, to be conducted by Robert Spano.  I say "complete" in quotes with reason.  (Yes, it is the complete work, but...)  While many of you may have read my feature article in this week's Creative Loafing, 650 words hardly is room for the larger story about the work.  (NOTE: I did not write either the article's published title nor the caption under the photo!)  I had a 30-minute conversation with Gandolfi in preparation for that article, and I hope before the concerts take place to post more extensive excerpts from that conversation in this blog.

Finally, though the concerts at this writing appear to be almost sold out (THU 5/31 & SAT6/2 @ 8pm & SUN 6/3 @ 3pm - no FRI concert, and online tickets for THU seems sold out completely), the ASO & Spano with baritone Gregg Baker, perform the southeastern premiere of a work the ASO co-commisioned with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the African-American Cultural center of Greater Philadelphia: Pastime (2006) by Richard DanielpourPastime celebrates 3 historical baseball and civil rights greats: Josh Gibson (Negro League), Jackie Robinson & Hank Aaron (National League).  Home-run king Hank Aaron is scheduled to be present at Thursday's sold-out performance.

—Mark Gresham, composer/music journalist 19 May 2007

[NOTE: This article by Mark Gresham can also be found on the Atlanta Composers Blog at]