Charles T. Downey, Oliver Knussen takes risks with National Symphony Orchestra
Washington Post, November 4, 2011
When musicians venture outside their comfort zone, the risk-taking can be thrilling. The same is true for audiences.
Knussen Conducts Knussen,
After British composer and conductor Oliver Knussen’s last appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra — as part of an intense CrossCurrents festival in 2009 — it was no surprise that his latest appearance at the podium of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall brought challenges as well as rewards. On Thursday night, the NSO tackled three of the four pieces on this somewhat daunting program for the first time in its history — with not quite even results.
The concert opened with “Wanderlust,” a three-movement narrative escapade by Nevada-born Sean Shepherd that premiered in 2009. Shepherd splashes sound at a large orchestral canvas, with a surfeit of percussion, to evoke desert howls or the Brittenesque surge of the ocean. [Continue reading]
Charles T. Downey, Mo' Modern: Knussen Keeps It New (Ionarts, May 9, 2009)
Articles by Sean Shepherd (NewMusicBox)