Guest conductor Robert Spano (Atlanta Symphony, Aspen Music Festival) launches ACO’s new season with fuel and propulsion in abundance. Fred Lerdahl, a composer respected for his craftsmanship and depth, starts with the simplest of ideas that “spiral” into progressively more complex and diverse patterns, creating music of fantastic heat and intensity. Peter Fahey, a rising-star who won ACO’s 2012 Underwood Emerging Composer Commission, premieres a new work for orchestra and electronics inspired by Ireland’s infamous 19th-century Industrial Schools. Christopher Theofanidis, a master of color and orchestration, combines musical figurations drawn from the Balkan region and Greek Orthodox tradition in a rarity among works for soloist and orchestra—his virtuosic bassoon concerto, written for the supremely athletic soloist Martin Kuuskman. Rounding out the event, Julia Wolfe and filmmaker Bill Morrison create an alternative energy all their own, pushing a string orchestra to its limits while exploring the controversy and global implications of — and human need for — fossil fuels.
Image from film by Bill Morrison. Credit: Laurie Olinde