Being part of a Festival is always an enormous commitment by everyone involved. The organizational logistics are enormous, complex and time consuming. The upcoming Independent Schools Victoria, Arts Learning Festival kicks off in just under two weeks.
Our maestro too, is flying in from New York especially for the ADO’s special collaboration with the Festival to conduct two Australian premieres of two American symphonic works composed for younger audiences.
The first piece, Miranda’s Waltz, by Susan Kander is for narrator and orchestra. The piece is about a small girl – aptly named ‘Miranda’ – who learns to navigate the big, wide world through the assistance of an even smaller mouse over three days visiting her local park. Miranda starts out not very confident in dealing with the grown-up world but, by the end, with the help of mouse and her friends, has been shown not to be afraid and whilst little, she is so very capable!
Inside the park Miranda meets an assortment of characters including a kind and gentle old man (who feeds mouse his cheese whilst reading to him!) ducks, a tenacious cat, a noisy dog, and myriad grown-ups who enjoy the park with their young children. There is also an amazing kite-flying sequence not to be missed! It is delightful in every way.
The last work on the concert is the remarkable Imaginary Symphony No. 1 by fellow New York composer, Anthony Piccolo. As well as a very fine composer, Tony is also Director of Children’s Chorus at The Metropolitan Opera, a job that is infinitely demanding in one of the world’s great Opera houses. His work is scored for large children’s chorus and orchestra. The symphony is in three movements with chorus text drawn from a variety of well-known and unknown poetry. I think my favorite text is from the second movement Scherzo (‘Explore’) warning the unwary: Continue Reading →