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Alt-Classical Altitude in Chicago

Some orchestras are looking for young unknown conductors. But when you snare Riccardo Muti, as the Chicago Symphony did, you’re getting a bastion of tradition.

Or, maybe not.

The Chicago Symphony yesterday released a startling report of its annual meeting -- startling because Muti, supposedly the traditional European, announced a slew of new initiatives for reaching into the community when his tenure begins in 2010. We’re not just talking concerts in the park. We're talking about programs offering music training to juvenile offenders. (Why, Muti sounds almost like Marin Alsop.)

We're also talking two new composers-in-residence: Mason Bates and Anna Clyne. Bates is a Juilliard-trained composer who also performs as a DJ; his piece "The B-Sides," written for the San Francisco Symphony, was given a sneak preview at the YouTube Symphony Orchestra concert. Clyne writes electro-acoustic music for filmmakers and orchestras, dance companies and chamber ensembles.

Turntables and electronica. At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Alt-classical is evidently even farther along than we thought.

By Anne Midgette  |  October 16, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  national , news  
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Next: In performance: Christopher O'Riley


Let's not forget Bates' NSO world premiere, which I was perhaps excessively enthusiastic about some time ago:

I still think it was cool, although perhaps not quite that cool.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | October 16, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

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