American mavericks: visionaries, pioneers, iconoclasts

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San Francisco Symphony, Dec 11, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 150 pages
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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. 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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Contents

Chapter Three
17
Chapter Four
37
Chapter Five
54
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Susan Key, most recently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, has published articles on American composers from Stephen Foster to John Cage. Larry Rothe has been editor of the San Francisco Symphony's program book since 1984. His articles have appeared in Playbill, Stagebill, and Symphony magazines, and he has contributed program notes and essays to the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony.

Rothe has been editor of the San Francisco Symphony's program book since 1984.