The American Mavericks festival at the San Francisco Symphony in the summer of 2000 was an unprecedented triumph on multiple levels. Foremost, of course, was aesthetic: superb performances by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, together with guests from around the world. The programming was significant both as an historical survey of the maverick tradition and as a glimpse of its future. The festival also demonstrated the potential of innovative programming to draw large, enthusiastic audiences. For all these reasons, American Mavericks attracted attention far beyond those who could actually attend. This volume, and the CD that accompanies it, makes that unforgettable experience available to a wide audience. American Mavericks provides a permanent record of the Symphony's vision for audiences, scholars, and educators and tells a fascinating story--not about one individual or one institution, but about a cultural phenomenon that crosses geographic, chronological, and ethnic boundaries.
The mavericks were as disparate in personality and musical style as the American landscape, but, as Michael Tilson Thomas says, "what these composers all have in common is their enormous excitement in the experience of sound itself." This book presents an abundance of commentary from performers and a wealth of primary material--interviews, photographs, and rare performances. The voices of those who have experienced the music "from within" provide unique insight that complements the historical and analytical material. Among the artists considered in this volume are Charles Ives, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland, Lou Harrison, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Meredith Monk, and Frank Zappa. As well as providing a rich chronicle of the complex cultural backdrop against which this music was created, American Mavericks offers a unique opportunity to explore music and musicians across an eclectic mix of styles, genres, and media.
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20th century Aaron Copland aesthetic Alan Feinberg American composer American Mavericks festival American music artists audience avant-garde Ballet mecanique band became began Boulez Cage's California Carl Ruggles Charles Ives classical composer's composition concert music conductor Cowell's created creative culture dance DELTREDICI dissonance Duke Ellington Earle Brown early Edgard Varese electronic Ensemble exploring Francisco Symphony Chorus gamelan George Antheil Henry Cowell inspiration instruments Ives's jazz John Adams John Cage June later listeners Lou Harrison Lukas Foss maverick composers Meredith Monk Michael Steinberg Michael Tilson Thomas minimalist modern modernist Morton Feldman musicians new-music Nonesuch notes opera Paris percussion performance Peter Grunberg pianist pianolas piece played player pianos premiere radical recorded rhythm rhythmic Riley Ruth Crawford Seeger San Francisco Symphony Schirmer Schoenberg scores soloist songs soprano sound Steve Reich Steven Mackey studied style Susan Key Symphony Orchestra Symphony's technique tempo tonal tradition Tredici University Press voice writing wrote Zappa