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Thalia Book Club Camp offers up-close interaction with renowned children's book authors and illustrators, book discussions, and book-related field trips around the city. This blog follows the camp's activities.

Symphony Space’s Composers Now Week

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Published on February 23, 2011

“New music has lately been a special focus at Symphony Space…perhaps because its new Artistic Director, Laura Kaminsky, is a composer with an ear for the new and interesting.” -The New York Times

What a quote to start our week at Symphony Space! We are halfway through a series of events that make up Composers Now, a week-long celebration of the music of now, best captured by Laura in her own words:

“I think most of us are curious about what motivates someone to create something new – be it a novel, a painting, a poem, a three-course meal, a piece of music. And we also want to know how that something was made. Writing music is the hardest for most of us to wrap our heads around – many of us can imagine writing a story or even painting a landscape, but most of us can’t really imagine composing a piece of music – and maybe it is partly for this reason that people are generally wary of hearing new music. Composers are story-tellers in sound, just telling it as they hear it – reflecting the times they live in through their musical language. For the musicians who play new music, there’s an exciting journey of discovery – and also a certain pride of ownership – that make some of the committed new music performers among the most compelling artists of our day. When a composer or performer talks about the work, it lends an immediacy that makes the experience even more special, giving the performance an intimacy and accessibility that is unique. That’s the point of Symphony Space’s Composers Now week, currently underway after a gorgeous opening marathon event on Monday and an inspiring and intimate evening with my dear friend Meredith Monk last night.”

Laura definitely captured the spirit of this week of music at Symphony Space. On Thursday, Ireland’s Fidelio Trio – three intrepid musical adventurers on their first US trip – will be joined by Evan Ziporyn for a Salon event, and we close Composers Now week on Saturday with a spirited performance by Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, along with special guest Donald Harrison, as they explore the roots of jazz from Cuba to New Orleans.

Stay tuned for more posts from the people at Symphony Space who bring you the programs and artists that make this place so unique.

In the meantime, check out today’s New York Times review of our Music of Now marathon. Composer Waddy Thompson (whose dog Charlie is our unofficial staff mascot) gets a special mention for the world premiere of his “Winter Morning by a Lake.” Congratulations, Laura and Waddy! It’s been quite a week, and we’re only halfway through!


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