In the “Classical Beat” column of Tuesday’s (6/16) Washington Post, Anne Midgette reports on a conversation with National Symphony Orchestra Interim Chief Conductor Iván Fischer in the Chinese city of Xi’an, where a day earlier he had conducted the NSO in “a concert attended by the political elite…. ‘I am very concerned about the future of the symphony,’ he says…. Orchestras, Fischer says, are too inflexible. The instrumentation hasn’t fundamentally changed for 120 years. But in seeking a radical new model, he seems to be looking more to the old than the new. He doesn’t talk much about new music, though he observes that Daniel Kellogg’s piece ‘Western Skies,’ which the NSO is playing on several of its Asia programs, may have been a fitting piece to bring to China since it is about sound and color rather than narrative or dramatic development…. What he talks about with most animation are early-music ensembles, like the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, who will join him next season in New York for half of a Beethoven cycle.”

Posted June 17, 2009