Orchestra of the League of Composers


Given the near impossibility of getting a second performance of an orchestral work, the League of Composers/ISCM is doing noble work to put on an annual concert of music for small-ish orchestral forces each spring. In last month’s latest iteration, with composer Louis Karchin conducting, an excellent array of New York free-lancers performed a program of pieces nicely varied in style. These weren’t premieres (though the Adler was new to NYC), but why should they have to be? Conventional orchestras are too fixated on the éclat that accrues from a first performance. Would that this ensemble could perform as frequently as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (as well as issue CDs the way BMOP does) – it would be a welcome complement to the American Composers Orchestra.

The soloists Chloë Schaaf and Michael Brown were both superb. Schaaf was new to me, but I had previously heard Brown’s fine album of George Perle’s piano music which I wrote about here.

Here are a few pictures from that evening (I wish I could include a picture of Du Yun, but none of the ones I took of her came out well.) Sam Adler (on left) and Mario Davidovsky:

Hayes Biggs with Mario:

and Lou Karchin (on left) with John Harbison: