Spring for Music, an annual festival of concerts by North American symphony and chamber orchestras at Carnegie Hall, was created in part to start a conversation about repertoire, about audience expectations, and about orchestral programming in general. To help continue this conversation, the festival is hosting a series of online events allowing participants to interact with members of the team in an open dialogue.

The second of these chats is today (Thursday) at noon with composer Steven Stucky, whose evening-long concert drama August 4, 1964 will be performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on May 11 as part of the Spring for Music festival. This is Steven’s conversation starter:

“How does a composer write a work about a failed President (Johnson) and a probable war criminal (McNamarra) without lapsing into propaganda? Does he have to check his personal opinions at the door? If a middle-class white composer writes music about the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, does he risk being patronizing? In writing a historical symphony does he steal the voices of those who actually went through the struggles of the movement, fought and died in Vietnam?”

You can join the conversation right here:

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