[ In the Press ]

The N.C. Symphony opens an adverturous season in September

Orchestra programs music by Yale alumni Sarah Kirkland Snider, Judd Greenstein, Timo Andres, Derek Bermel
February 26, 2014

SarahKirklandSniderIndy Week
By Todd Morman

When I asked the new general manager and the artistic administrator of the North Carolina Symphony what they might do to reach a younger generation of music fans, they replied, at first, with an awkward pause. Flyers at rock clubs like Kings, maybe? Publicizing $10 student tickets more? Commercials on college radio stations? Anything?

In truth, Amy Russell and Martin Sher have already done the hard work to attract new music fans to the symphony, as the newly announced lineup of the next season greatly expands the mission and repertoire of the local outfit. Now they just need to sell it. They’re still working on that part.

The symphony’s own press release buries the real news, so you have to dig past the announcement of chestnuts like Handel’s Messiah and a Rachmaninoff piano concerto to get to the excitement that the next season, which begins in September, brings: They’ll play two new commissions by Judd Greenstein ’04 MM and Sarah Kirkland Snider ’05 MM, the co-directors of indie classical powerhouse New Amsterdam Records. They created the label in 2008 to give young composers and musicians grounded in other genres a place to release their first records. Time Out NY called the label “the focal point of the post-classical scene.”

The symphony will also offer work by genre-bending young composers like Timo Andres ’07 BA, ’09 MM, whose influences include Sigur Ros and Brian Eno, and Mason Bates, who describes himself as a composer and DJ. Modern pieces by Derek Bermel ’89 BA—who routinely showcases influences from funk, R&B, jazz and West Africa—and the German clarinetist Jörg Widmann mark additional highlights. All of those composers are currently breathing (gasp!) and under 45 years old.