|St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and "Genius" Violinist Captivate Chicago|
Robertson Changes the Norm for Orchestral Concerts
In November, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by David Robertson, went on tour to Chicago. There they performed an interesting program at the acclaimed Harris Theater.
Robertson is known for wanting to change the norm of orchestral performances. For this performance, he assembled a program of all contemporary composers who have written their pieces "outside the realm of the normal". The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra opened with A Prayer Out of Stillness, a piece for electric bass, electric bass guitar and string orchestra, written by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's jazz influenced Composer in Residence, Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Following the Turnage, was Steven Mackey's Beautiful Passing with Leila Josefowicz on violin. This haunting piece was written for Mackey's dying mother. Josefowicz earned her right to perform this piece when she received the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant, given for given for unusual creativity in a wide range of fields. The MacArthur grant recognized the 30-year-old violinist's fierce devotion to contemporary music.
Trailing intermission, the orchestra dove into the first movement of Glenn Branca's Symphony No. 14 "The Harmonic Series", followed by Zappa's G-Spot Tornado and Varèse's Arcana. Glenn Branca's guitar rocker Symphony No. 14 was commissioned by Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony.