Big public musicology events — okay, we can stop right there. Such events don’t exist.
But the Chicago Symphony, with its vibrant Beyond the Score series, is getting close. And if you’re not in Chicago, Beyond the Score will come to you. Or at least to your orchestra, this season to Milwaukee, Seattle, Des Moines, Philadelphia and four other cities just this spring.
So Thursday evening, creative director/narrator Gerard McBurney, actors Cleary Breunig and Mark Puchinsky and an elaborately produced video on the topic of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) will travel to Marcus Center Uihlein Hall in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Symphony and music director Edo de Waart will await them. The MSO will play excerpts from the “New World” during the first half, as McBurney and crew fill in the context that led to the composition. The Czech composer conceived it during a stint in New York, where he led the National Conservatory of Music 1892-95 — but I’ll stop right there and let McBurney fill in the rest on Thursday. On the second half, de Waart and the MSO will play the piece straight through.
Judith Kuhn, a music history professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, got this project rolling.
“I’d been to a couple of Beyond the Score presentations in Chicago,” she said, in an interview Monday. “McBurney always finds things that I don’t know. He’s a digger. He’s also a composer, so he can reconstruct the compositional process.”
Read the full article at ThirdCoast Digest.