“Jonathan Bailey Holland was delighted that Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director Louis Langrée had invited him to be the CSO’s composer-in-residence,” writes David Lyman in Wednesday’s (10/31) Cincinnati Enquirer (OH). “But his first official responsibility in the position was more daunting than he expected … a companion piece to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9…. ‘I remember thinking “That’s crazy, how could anyone write a piece that goes intentionally with Beethoven,” ’ recalls Holland. For one thing, there was the pressure of audience expectations…. At 44, Holland has been writing music for more than two decades. His music has a strong character. And his compositional voice is distinctive…. ‘Jonathan is an old friend of the CSO,’ says Langrée. ‘He composed his first piece for us more than 15 years ago…. He knows our strengths…. He knows the hall.’ … When [Holland] travels here for the [November 9] premiere of this new work—it’s titled ‘Ode,’ by the way—he will also work with the participants in a young composers’ competition that the orchestra is administering…. In January … he’ll be working with them again.” Says Langrée, “We can’t speak with Beethoven. But Jonathan is here and alive and filled with answers.”

Posted November 2, 2018

In photograph: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra composer in residence Jonathan Bailey Holland. Photographer: Robert Torres