The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Edward T. Cone Composition Institute — currently in session on the Princeton University campus — concludes on Saturday, July 16, with “Scores,” a concert of new orchestral works by recognized emerging composers.
The institute is a cooperative project of the NJSO and the Princeton University Department of Music and promotes the creation of new music and support composers in the early stages of their careers.
The “Scores” program includes “Places With Pillars,” by James Anderson, a composer of acoustic and electrocoustic media and member of the University of Michigan’s residential faculty — where he is also pursuing his MA in music composition. Anderson says the piece explores different associations with the idea of “pillars,” ranging from physical architecture to social foundations.
Vermont native Matthew Browne’s “Farthest South” is one in a series of tone poems inspired by “fantastical tales of curious natural specimens, archaeological artifacts, and unique artworks that may or may not have any basis in reality.” “Farthest South” was inspired by Ernest Shackleton’s 1907-’09 Antarctic expedition and the discovery of a “glorious field of curious glass structures.”
“Ask Questions Later” is New Hampshire-born and past New Jersey rock band member Will Stackpole’s reaction to gun violence and the “permanence of consequences.” Currently pursuing a master’s degree in composition at Juilliard, the freelance composer says “‘Ask Questions Later’ is an exploration of the brief moment of inevitability between an explosion and its impact” and “a hope to call attention to an urgent problem.”
Korean-born Jung Yoon Wie’s “Water Prism” is inspired by the phenomenon in which light passes through a prism, forming a rainbow, and short notes with simple harmonies “become longer and longer in length and grow into more complex harmonies,” says the recipient of the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Collegiate Composers Competition and doctoral student at the University of Michigan.
And “Turn the Key” is Princeton composer and institute director Steven Mackey’s musical play on the idea of a key that unlocks a new concert hall, helps understanding, is related to music and dance, and springs “from a fundamental rhythm and develops by turning this rhythm around to mean different things.”
David Robertson conducts. He is the St. Louis Symphony’s musical director, Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor and artistic director, and known presenter of new music.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Edward T. Cone Concerts, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University, Saturday, July 16, 8 p.m. $15. www.njsymphony.org/musicians-music/about-the-music/composition-institute.