In 1953, the Louisville Orchestra was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation grant of $500,000 to commission, premiere, and record 20th-century music to be issued on their own label, Louisville First Edition Records. By 1997 they had released nearly 150 discs, containing more than 450 compositions by living composers.
On today’s date in 1980, one of the Louisville commissions premiered and recorded by the Orchestra was “Tournaments ” by the then 41-year old American composer John Corigliano.
“As the title implies,” writes Corigliano, “’Tournaments’ is a ‘contest piece,’ a sort of mini-Concerto for Orchestra in which first desk players and entire sections vie with each other in displaying their virtuosity.”
The Louisville Orchestra received many awards for their ambitious commissioning project, while composer John Corigliano went on to win Grammys and an Oscar, not to mention the Grawemeyer and Pulitzer Prizes for Music.
Corigliano is also proud of his teaching positions at the Juilliard School and Lehman College in New York. “I think it’s good for a composer to teach,” says Corigliano, “because you always have new students, and you have to begin at the beginning and make things clear.”
Music Played in Today's Program
John Corigliano (b. 1938)Tournaments OvertureLouisville Orchestra; Sidney Harth, cond.Louisville First Edition LOU-771
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