“If a new generation of crafty, resourceful composers piloting their own destinies has been a prevailing theme in recent years, 2009 showed that some mainstream institutions are ready and willing to embrace them,” writes Steve Smith in Sunday’s (12/20) ew York Times . “The best-known example was Nico Muhly, drafted into the development program run by the Metropolitan Opera and the Lincoln Center Theater even as he continued to play in nightclubs. In October the Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced that Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, artists whose work involves sampling and electronica, would serve terms as composers in residence. In November the Detroit Symphony Orchestra gave a prestigious award and commission to Du Yun, a versatile New York composer and performer. Like those peers Missy Mazzoli, the executive director of the MATA Festival, has balanced well-honed do-it-yourself skills with her upward career trajectory.” Smith describes Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar multimedia song cycle, premiered at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn in June. “Already the Bard College Conservatory of Music has commissioned a new orchestral version of ‘Song from the Uproar’ for a fully staged production at Bard College on Feb. 26 and 28. An ambitious opera company would do well to take note.”

Posted December 21, 2009