Brian Current

A Young Person‘s Guide to New Music for Symphony Orchestra

About the work

The piece is a 30-minute work for narrator and symphony orchestra. The speaker explains aspects of 20th and 21st century music while the orchestra demonstrates in real time. Topics include form, rhythm, pitch, harmony, texture, color, melody, performance contexts and electronic music. The piece is a musical experience as well as an educational one. All the orchestral material is original and the narration is presented in a way that is theatrical and engaging.

In the tradition of the Young People’s Concerts, A Young Person’s Guide to New Music for Symphony Orchestra, is intended to address an educational gap between audience expectations and compositional trends of the 20th and 21st century. Over the past seasons, I have been involved with the educational activities of the Esprit Orchestra in Toronto, who invite students to attend special afternoon concerts. At these events we are able to explain to a large audience of young people various aspects of the music they are about to hear or have just heard. The proposed piece is designed for just this type of event, with the explanation occurring as the material unfolds.

SPECS

Duration:

versions for 45 minutes or 30 minutes

Movements:

Instrumentation:

2222 4221 2perc, hp.pn. Strings, Narrator, electronic soundfiles

Tech:

Version in English, French or Mandarin

BACKGROUND

Date of composition:

2008

Commissionner:

Esprit Orchestra

Performances:

A Young Person’s Guide was performed by the National Symphony of Taiwan during the Spring of 2012. It also was performed during 2011-2012 season by the orchestras of Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton.

ABOUT THE COMPOSER

Brian Current writes music that is brimming with energy – sometimes with the propulsive rhythms of so-called minimalist music, sometimes with a more delicate sense of flux, but almost always with a sense of motion and playfulness about the treatment of time and texture. These features have won him numerous honours, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Barlow Prize for Orchestral Music, and Italy’s Premio Fedora for his new chamber opera Airline Icarus.

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