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NSO: Culture Night

NSO: Culture Night

NSO Season

NSO: Culture Night

National Symphony Orchestra
Ryan McAdams conductor
Elaine Clark violin
Philip Glass Violin Concerto No. 1 
John Luther Adams Become Ocean

Culture Night is permission to try something new. Something that might astonish you. Like two very different living American musical giants.

The First Violin Concerto by Philip Glass is a loving remembrance of his father, as moving as it is modern.

John Luther Adams describes Become Ocean as ‘a meditation on the vast, deep and mysterious tides of existence’. The New Yorker said it ‘may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history’.

Did you know?

Phillip Glass has written more operas than Wagner; around 30 compared to Wagner’s 13. He also composes ballets, film scores and theatre music alongside his work for the concert hall.

His First Violin Concerto (of three) was composed in memory of his late father: ‘A very smart man who had no education in music whatsoever, but the kind of person who fills up concert halls… It’s popular, it’s supposed to be – it’s for my Dad.’  

Glass would rather not be called a ‘minimalist’: ‘It’s music we wrote in the 1970s. It’s over 30 years out of date. It’s a crazy idea to use a description made up by journalists and editors to cover all kinds of music. It’s more confusing than descriptive.’ (The Guardian)

John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014.

Before he turned to composing, he was an environmental activist in his then Alaskan home.

Listen out for…

The distinctive chugging chords that open Glass’s Violin Concerto, and how its repetitive patterns seem to open up a larger world.

The tidal ebb and flow in Become Ocean that brings delicate harp and piano arpeggios into relief against liquescent washes of brass and strings.

Book Now
Friday 20 Sep 2024
Main Stage Unreserved
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