Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra will open its 2018-19 season on September 21 with the world premiere of Maxime Goulet’s Checkmate, a musical work based on Garry Kasparov’s 1996 chess match with IBM’s Deep Blue computer. The piece—one of ten premieres by the orchestra during the season—is described as an “interactive musical game of chess” between the orchestra and pianist Lara Downes, with Downes representing Kasparov and the orchestra as Deep Blue. Goulet has previously composed music for computer games, as well as Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade, a symphony evoking different flavors of chocolates (ROCO performed the string quartet version in November 2017), a cabaret opera based on a comic book, and a crowd game for orchestra and a giant beach ball. Paul Watkins, cellist with the Emerson String Quartet, will conduct the September program, which will also include the U.S. premiere of Anthem by Watkins’ brother, Huw Watkins, and music by Mendelssohn, Mahler, Schubert, and Martinů.

Posted August 1, 2018