Pacific Symphony Opens Lou Harrison Festival

Classic Arts News   Pacific Symphony Opens Lou Harrison Festival
A four-concert festival devoted to the West Coast composer Lou Harrison begins at the Orange County Performing Arts Center tonight.

The festival, titled "Lou Harrison: Uncharted Beauty," is the 2006 installment of the Pacific Symphony's American Composers Festival. For the last three years, the festival has been devoted to the influence of non-Western music on American composers; Harrison, who died in 2002, was influenced by Indonesian gamelan and other Asian forms, as well as African and Latin American rhythms.

The festival, which runs through May 25, includes ten Harrison works, including the well known Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Javanese Gamelan. Also on the program are Double Music, written with John Cage; music by Henry Cowell, a mentor of Harrison and another devotee of non-Western music; and clips from a forthcoming film about Harrison by Eva Soltes.

Pacific Symphony music director Carl St. Clair, a friend of Harrison's, leads two of the concerts. St. Clair said of the composer, "His music sings, dances, has humor, moves you with its sentimental tenderness, and elates you with its energetic rhythmic drive. Lou's music is just that—Lou personified."

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