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Almost Cut My Hair

I meant to flag this earlier but Mark Stryker had a terrific profile of Leon Kirchner in the Freep a few days ago.  Wonderful pictures, too.  Great head of hair for an 88-year-old dude.

Anybody study with Kirchner?

A reminder to those of you who owe us CD reviews; I have a terrific new batch and I am keeping score.  Cough up or bring an excuse from your mommy.


Comment from zeno
Time: June 8, 2007, 10:44 am

Besides Yo Yo Ma who is cited in Mark Stryker’s piece, John Adams also studied with Leon Kirchner. John Adams’s principal teachers included Leon Kirchner, David Del Tredici, and Roger Sessions. (Leonard Slatkin will close his final season with the National Symphony next year by performing Del Tredici’s Final Alice. He will have performed no works by Kirchner nor Sessions during his tenure with the National Symphony.)

The American Symphony Orchestra League lists world premieres of Mr Kirchner’s Violin Concerto #2 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under Esa-Pekka Salonen, in 2002; and a world premiere under James Levine with the Boston Symphony in 2006. It doesn’t list the title of the Boston work.

Some will recall Leon Kirchner’s oper Lily, based upon Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain God, at the NYCO, in 1976 (the same year that the San Francisco Opera premiered Andrew Imbrie and Oakley Hall’s Angle of Repose, based upon Wallace Stegner. I was in Mr Imbrie’s Fall graduate composition seminar at that time.)

Comment from lawrencedillon
Time: June 8, 2007, 12:18 pm

I had a composition class with Kirchner in ’85. I remember being very struck by how he was still devastated over the critical reaction to his opera, many years later. I also remember he assigned us to write a minuet in the style of Haydn, and we analyzed a movement from my “Six Scenes and a Fantasy.” I recall him as a very generous-spirited teacher.

Comment from Andrew
Time: June 8, 2007, 4:27 pm

Has Slatkin programmed any works by Elliott Carter in Washington? I do not recall any from my Washington days.

No one seems to do Sessions any more. I cannot believe that his Whitman setting has not become a mainstream work by now.

Comment from zeno
Time: June 8, 2007, 5:11 pm

Slatkin has programmed Elliott Carter’s Elegy and the Variations for Orchestra [although I seem to recall that a Beethoven work was substituted, at the last minute, for the Friday matinee performance of the Carter Variations].

(I have not heard Sessions’s Whitman setting since its world premiere in the Spring of 1971/72.)

[Leon Kirchner’s Lily: Henderson the Rain God was actually premiered by NYCO in the Winter/Spring of 1977; not in 1976, as I mentioned above. It was, I believe, at about the same time that Carter’s Symphony of Three Orchestras was being premiered over at Avery Fisher Hall by the NY Phil.]