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ASU Symphony Orchestra concert highlights work of modern composers who are alive and well

February 22, 2016

Close your eyes and imagine you are at a symphony concert. What kind of music is being played? For most people, the first thing that comes to mind are performances of the great classics, written by composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach – musical geniuses whose masterworks will be forever honored in the hall of fame of classical music, and who died more than two centuries ago.

On Wednesday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m., the ASU Symphony Orchestra’s Alive and Kicking concert hopes to change audiences’ ideas of what comprises symphony repertoire by presenting a collection of pieces by composers who are still living, all of which have been written since 1990.

Conducted by Jason Caslor, associate director of bands and orchestras, and Cullan Lucas and Mark Alpizar, both Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting students, the concert will feature exciting pieces covering a range of styles; highlights include the Suite from “There Will Be Blood,” by Radiohead’s lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and “Danzon No. 2” by Arturo Marquez. Caslor will conduct these two works, as well as “Rainbow Body” by Christopher Theofanidis.

Other pieces on the program include “Suburban Grooves” by Clint Needham, conducted by Lucas, and the world premiere of “Hollywood Sound Suite”, a collection of film score samples, which will be directed by Alpizar.

The Alive and Kicking concert is unusual in that it will expose everyone involved to the works of some of the most-performed contemporary composers.

“The idea of interacting with the music of a living composer has always interested me,” says Caslor. “Almost everything Beethoven wrote was played for the very first time during his lifetime and his works challenged audiences and musicians alike. But who are the modern day Beethovens? Not only do students and audiences need to engage with the masterworks from previous eras, they also need to be aware of all the great art being created today.”

Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 p.m.
ASU Gammage
Free admission

For more information about this concert, go to:

Media Contact:
Heather Beaman
School of Music Communications Liaison