So, how exited can I be about this new music festival, given that my favorite work is about 100 years old and that I was less than thrilled with either of premiered pieces? Let me be clear: it was wonderful. I would be happy to hear the music of any of these composers again. I am particularly looking forward to finding out what these younger guys do in the future.
The reality is that our culture is blossoming, absorbing influences from around the world. For me, the classical music tradition, grounded in the music of western Europe but now spread across the globe, is the most important. However, there are many wonderful manifestations of the human spirit outside of the confines of this tradition, and as this festival makes clear, the boundaries between the styles are fluid. I anticipate that in the future, there will be more from non-western traditions, but I cannot complain that this year’s two day festival needed more variety. I am grateful to have the benefit of a curator like Bryce Dessner, who is able to gather from the current scene so much that is significant. I also want to credit Bryce for the vision: he saw what might be possible in the town where he grew up, and he made it real.
This festival is also an example of the positive direction that the orchestra is taking under the new Music Director, Louis Langrée. Combining forces with this festival is just one of the ways that the orchestra is moving into the community, connecting with new audiences. And they play great!
Echoing the sentiments David Lang expressed in remarks before his piece, I am so glad that this wonderful festival and this magnificent orchestra have found each other. I am looking forward to next year.