Pieces that Will Prolong the Life of Orchestras

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What's the right balance between performing old and familiar, versus new and unfamiliar?(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gichristof/)
What's the right balance between performing old and familiar, versus new and unfamiliar?(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gichristof/)

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, the resident staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about new (and old) works that may prolong, or shorten, the lives of orchestras.

[audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/SpeaktheAudiencesLanguage3.mp3"]

Highlights From This Interview:

Boyce: “You walk a real tightrope to try to pick music that, number 1, you want pick favorites that audiences will love and come hear, but there’s always music being written, or recent music, that people, I think would love and would listen to.”

Albert-George: “I have thought about composers who wrote stuff – Scarlatti or Monteverdi – for a small orchestra, a long, long time ago. And then composers kept on writing things. So the orchestras slowly came into being and expanded because the composers needed a larger palette on which to paint their colors.”

Albert-George: “And now, orchestras have expanded to the max because composers have demanded it. Now we have the orchestra of monster size. The composers that wanted and knew how to write for such a magnificent thing have this big, huge (orchestra), the thing is sort of reversed now. So the tendency might be: Is this new piece of music going to extend the life of the symphony, or is it going to shorten the life of the symphony?”

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