What does it say about our musical culture that James Oestreich can write the following in a spring preview piece in the Times about a festival of visiting orchestras at Carnegie Hall:
Though top-rank orchestras are eligible, few American behemoths have yet shown interest. But the Montreal Symphony is here with Kent Nagano leading a program tracing the evolution of the symphony, from Gabrieli brass works and Bach sinfonias to Beethoven’s Fifth. Jaap van Zweden leads the Dallas Symphony in a work it commissioned for the Lyndon B. Johnson centenary in 2008, “August 4, 1964.”
The other orchestras for the inaugural season are the Albany Symphony (with an evening of reimagined spirituals), the Toledo Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York. All tickets are $25.
and fail to mention the name of the composer of “August 4, 1964”? This is not some five-minute curtain raiser, but a well-received evening-length oratorio by Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Stucky. (I give you a quote of that length so that you can see the context.) It was even Oestreich who reviewed the piece for the Times.
I am reminded of the newspaper picture of the entire company bowing after a performance of Richard Danielpour’s opera “Margaret Garner” a few years ago. The caption identified everyone in the picture except Richard.