“For the past three years, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has teamed up with Princeton University to present a week-long Composition Institute sponsored by the Edward T. Cone Foundation,” writes Nancy Plum in Wednesday’s (7/20) Town Topics (Princeton, N.J.). “Last week, four emerging composers … worked on the details and refinements of their pieces, aided by the players of the NJSO, Institute conductor David Robertson, and Institute Director and composer Steven Mackey. The week culminated in a performance by the NJSO Saturday night.… Matthew Browne reached back to the 19th-century form of the tone poem for Farthest South, a musical depiction of British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s early 20th-century expedition to Antarctica…. James Anderson … brought nature from a different part of the world to life in Places with Pillars [inspired by] the beaches of southern California…. [Jung Yoon Wie’s] Water Prism for Orchestra captured how light passes through a prism, creating a rainbow…. Will Stackpole created …Ask Questions Later as a response to the gun violence in this country…. Institute Director Steven Mackey also contributed a piece to the concert … Turn the Key … a play on words [using] a 7-beat clave rhythm.”

Posted July 20, 2016

Pictured: At the New Jersey Symphony’s 2016 Composition Institute, composers participate in a post-rehearsal talkback with Steven Mackey and David Robertson.