A New Toy

Classic Arts Features   A New Toy
Dallas Symphony music director Andrew Litton talks about Robert X. Rodriguez's Musical Dice Game, which gets its world premiere from the DSO on April 20.

Listening to Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andrew Litton talk about the debut of a new piece is like listening to a kid talk about the new PS2 game. "I love the thrill of a world premiere! It's like having a new toy; you get a thing that no one has ever played with before!"

The new toy is Robert X. Rodriguez's Musical Dice Game, a piece especially commissioned for the DSO. For Litton this is the final world premiere he will conduct as the DSO's music director. In the past eleven months he's led the orchestra through three new pieces. April 2005 brought Cindy McTee's Einstein's Dream‹music that combined traditional orchestra playing with computer generated voices and sound‹and in September Litton teamed up with composer George Tsontakis and pianist Stephen Hough for Man of Sorrows. Litton predicted Sorrows would be a "huge success," and he was right. The Dallas Morning News called it a "concert to savor" and patrons showed their appreciation with a standing ovation and thunderous applause.

Litton has high hopes for Musical Dice Game as well. The first time he and the DSO will see the piece will be about a week before its unveiling. The excitement of the unknown is what electrifies Litton. "Sure things look good on paper," he says, "but until that first rehearsal, you really have no idea what things are going to be like aside from what you can sort of hear in your head."

Litton is equally exuberant about working with Rodriguez. "Robert has been associated with [the DSO] for decades. He's a fabulous composer and it's just a thrill for me to give him this opportunity in my last season for us to collaborate one more time."

For ticket information about this concert as well as the Texas premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto, go to www.DallasSymphony.com or call the Patron Services Center at 214-692-0203.

Each Playbill this season features an interview with Andrew Litton looking back on his time as music director. To learn more about Litton and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, visit www.DallasSymphony.com.

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