The first of two events this spring with the Metropolis Ensemble happens this coming Monday. I’ve been working to organize these concerts with the Ensemble’s director/founder/conductor Andrew Cyr for probably the past two years; we’ve been in touch since mid-2007, before any of these pieces were written. As such, I feel I have a large stake in the success of these events (I mean æsthetic success, rather than financial); they are representative of my current thinking about Classical Music Programming. Each concert is structured around pairing one of my pieces with a “core repertoire” piece to which it relates: on Monday, I Found it by the Sea with Brahms’s Op. 25 piano quartet (which my piece quotes). I’ll be playing piano on both pieces; the Brahms is a piece I’ve literally been hoping to play since I was about 11, and it somehow hasn’t happened until now, so I’m very excited.
But the thing that makes the Metropolis Ensemble’s programming different from most other “Classical Music” organizations is that it is composer-centric, which, by necessity, means living composers. The industry standard is performer/work-centric: the planning begins with Anne-Sophie playing the Brahms concerto, and then the rest of the 1½ hours are filled in with music that may or may not have any bearing on Brahms. That type of programming putters along without offending anyone, but I think we can all agree that there’s more than enough of it. I think a well-designed program is like a well-curated home; on the surface, stuff; may not look right together (Mozart and Brian Eno?) but the combined effect really tells you something about the resident.
The concert is free, and will fill up fast; reserve your tickets here.
UPDATE: It’s sold out!