Hear Hear!

A New Music initiative

Hear Hear!—an original Riverside Symphony programming innovation—provides listeners with a unique opportunity to deepen their appreciation of today’s most interesting music. Since our 2013–14 season, a full-length performance of the evening’s featured contemporary work has preceded each Alice Tully Hall concert. Doors open at 7pm and the presentations begin promptly at 7:15. This is an open-seating event, free to all ticket holders.

Meet this Season’s Hear Hear! Composers

  • anna-weesner
  • Featured Work:

    Still Things Move (2003), New York Premiere

    Scheduled Performances:

    Friday, October 28, 2016
    Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center

    • 7:20pm (Hear Hear!)
    • 8pm (concert)
    • American composer Anna Weesner is an accomplished and confident practitioner of what might reasonably be termed a “traditional” approach to composition. As such, her music implicitly disavows novelty and stylistic partisanship in its search for authenticity. A keen ear, as well as a pronounced gift for “vocal” writing—even when she is composing for instruments—have won Ms. Weesner champions among leadings soloists and ensembles throughout the United States. Currently Weiss Professor and Chair at the University of Pennsylvania, she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2001, and has been recognized by such distinguished entities as The Guggenheim Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, in addition to receiving an Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Virginia Center.
    • Dating from 2002 and revised in the summer of 2016, Still Things Move is a one movement work, which nonetheless comprises three individually titled sections. Lasting but a minute, Wishmay be appreciated in traditional terms as a slow introduction to the lively Sport that follows. Soon afterwards, striking silences unexpectedly interrupt the action—followed moments later by the reintroduction of sustained tones reminiscent of the work’s opening moments. In this way, a dialogue between stillness and movement is set into motion, with a third “spinning plate” provided by the memory of silence. The final section, History, continues, but ultimately repurposes, the dialogue to more expansive, even extroverted, ends.
  • Trigos Web
  • Featured Work:

    Double Bass Concerto (2008), New York Premiere

    Scheduled Performances:

    Saturday, January 28, 2017
    Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center

    • 7:15pm (Hear Hear!)
    • 8pm (Concert)
    • Mexican composer and conductor Juan Trigos has enjoyed international success in both endeavors. Currently music director and principal conductor of the Sinfónica de Oaxaca and formerly with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guanajuato, he has served as principal conductor with the Eastman Broadband Ensemble since 2007. In addition to four operas and three symphonies, Trigos’ diverse catalogue of works reveals the composer’s preoccupation with concertante form, of which the Concerto for Bass provides a notable example. Trigos is guided by an original concept he has coined Abstract Folklore, which absorbs, abstracts, and synthesizes various literary and vernacular musical traditions into a uniquely personal compositional language. A notable facet of this approach is primary pulsation, so named because of the resonance and interrelation of polyrhythmic/polyphonic musical events, featuring segments of contrasting density and duration, within his works.
    • Dating from 2008, the Concerto for Bass is derived from a previous work for solo double bass. In adapting the solo version to its new form, Trigos retains the soloist’s narrative authority, while the “supporting cast” at turns responds, accompanies or expands upon the elements proposed. Cast in a single movement, the work is divided into four large sections, the last of these including a coda. Variation is essential to the work’s construction, such that all the movements retain identifiable components of the first section. In this disarmingly playful, extroverted work, the first percussionist shares the spotlight with the bass solo. Lending color,resonance and sonic depth, keyboard instruments such as vibraphone, marimba, harpsichord, vertical piano and electric piano also play an important role.

  • Crockett Web
  • Featured Work:

    En la Tierra (2011), New York Premiere

    Scheduled Performances:

    Saturday, April 1, 2017
    Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center

    • 7:15pm (Hear Hear!)
    • 8pm (Concert)
    • Composer Donald Crockett’s numerous honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, and several citations from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, where he served as Composer-in-Residence from 1991-97, the Kronos Quartet, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hilliard Ensemble among many other distinguished ensembles. Crockett currently serves as Chair of the Composition Program and Director of Thornton Edge new music ensemble at the USC Thornton School of Music and Senior Composer-in-Residence with the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. His music is recorded on the Albany, BMOP Sound, CRI, Doberman-Yppan, ECM, Laurel, New World and Pro Arte/Fanfare labels.
    • En La Tierra (“On Earth”), is the third of four in a series of explorations for guitar, which the composer studied seriously as a teenager and continued to play throughout his early adult life. Cast in clearly delineated sections, the 14-minute, single-movement work betrays an unmistakably American provenance, mainly owing to its tastefully bluesy harmonic underpinning and playful syncopations. These devices effortlessly transcend the common trappings of faux-Americana pastiche, resulting in an expressively frank work that is both authentic and fresh.

Preaching What We Practice

a message from Artistic Director Anthony Korf

Anthony Korf, Artistic Director

This program is the brainchild of many years of pondering new and more effective ways to deepen your connection to unfamiliar music, particularly music by composers of today with something to say. Of course our salons strive to accomplish this goal, but nothing beats repeated listening; great music (of every type) merits and rewards this attention—the more you listen, the more it will get “under your skin.”

Audiences rarely if ever have the opportunity to hear a contemporary work more than once in live performance. With such fleeting experience, on what basis can an audience member be expected to form a reaction to a completely new work in an unfamiliar musical language?

Nothing beats repeated listening.
Hear Hear! begins to address such important questions. Attending these pre-concert previews of the program’s contemporary selection will do more than enhance your enjoyment of a particular work. By participating in our experiment, you will be following the time-honored practice of musicians themselves. For just like practicing a musical instrument, active listening is a skill developed through repetition and experience. In this way, you will be picking up a transferable skill that will develop the more you use it.

We don’t claim that Hear Hear! will complete your journey. It might, however, spark your curiosity and inspire further exploration. In short, if you find yourself enjoying the same work more the second time through, or noticing certain details you initially missed, you’ll be on your way. You may not be in “love” or even in “like” yet, but your odyssey will have begun.

Admission is free for ticket holders, with open seating.

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Riverside Symphony

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