Composer-to-Composer Talks: Joan Tower/Conor Brown

February 24, 2021 @ 5:00PM — 7:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Composer-to-Composer Talks: Joan Tower and Conor Brown

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Wednesday. February 24, 2021 at 5pm ET
Composer-to-Composer Talks: Joan Tower and Conor Brown

The Composer to Composer series features major American composers in conversation with each other about their work and leading a creative life. The intergenerational discussions will begin by exploring a single work with one composer interviewing the other. Attendees will gain insight to each work’s genesis, sound, influence on the American orchestral canon, and will be invited to ask questions of the artists. Events will be live-streamed and available for on-demand viewing for seven days following the live event.


On February 24, Conor Brown talks with Joan Tower about her work Sequoia from 1981. Tower writes of the piece, “I think most composers would have to admit that they live, to various degrees, in the sound-worlds of other composers both old and new, and that what they consciously or unconsciously take from them enables them to discover what they themselves are interested in. Long ago, I recognized Beethoven as someone bound to enter my work at some point, because for many years I had been intimately involved in both his piano music and chamber music as a pianist. Even though my own music does not sound like Beethoven's in any obvious way, in it there is a basic idea at work which came from him. This is something I call the "balancing" of musical energies. In Sequoia, that concept is not only very much present in the score but it actually led to the title (which is meant in an abstract rather than a pictorial sense). What fascinated me about sequoias, those giant California redwood trees, was the balancing act nature had achieved in giving them such great height."

Tickets are free; registration highly encouraged. Registrants will receive links to the events as well as recordings of featured works in advance.