Michael Gilbertson | Photo by Ron Cohen Mann
Musical America | By Susan Elliott
The annual Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, which ran January 2529, introduced seven young composers whose works, chosen in a competitive screening, were poured over, polished, and finally performed before a paying public. All of these young men and women had something to say, but one in particular stood out.
Michael Gilbertson is a Juilliard grad currently working on his PhD [editor’s note: DMA] in composition at Yale, where he counts Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Bresnick among his teachers. His Sinfonia, based, as he describes it, on “motives and themes from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons” and excerpted for the purposes of the Institute, combines multiple harmonic strains, in the early 20th-century jazz/impressionist vein, with a solid rhythmic core. Its canvas is vast, enriched with full but never overblown orchestral color. Lines are lyrical, subtly interwoven. Small wonder that Music Director Osmo Vänskä chose it to close the program that bore the fruits of the week’s work. MORE