Composers Datebook®

with host John Zech

Monday, August 7

Hanson and Thomas at summer camp

Synopsis

Summer music camps have become a fixture of American cultural life, offering young talent a chance to rub shoulders with seasoned professional musicians, and to perform both old and new musical works.

On today's date in 1977, American composer, conductor, and music educator, Howard Hanson, conducted the premiere performance of his Seventh Symphony at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. Hanson subtitled his Seventh, "A Sea Symphony," and it includes a choral setting of passages from Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass."

For 40 years, Hanson headed the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Closer to our own time, Eastman professor Augusta Read Thomas follows in Hanson's footsteps as composer-in-residence at various summer music camps.

On today's date in 2001, at the annual Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, one of her pieces entitled "Murmurs in the Mist of Memory" received its world premiere performance. Thomas has also served as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Thomas writes, "Music of all kinds constantly amazes, surprises, propels and seduces me into a wonderful and powerful journey. I am happiest when listening to music and in the process of composing music. I care deeply that music is not anonymous and generic or easily assimilated and just as easily dismissed."

Music Played in Today's Program

Howard Hanson (1896 – 1981) Symphony No. 7 (A Sea Symphony) Seattle Symphony and Chorale; Gerard Schwarz, cond. Delos 3130

Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964) Wind Dances Louisville Orchestra; Lawrence Leighton Smith, cond. Albany/ Louisville First Edition 010

Additional Information

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