whether experienced or amateur, found it more thrilling
than did the listeners, who waited on security check lines.
There was more Mozart at Tanglewood than at Mostly
Mozart Festival, though pianist Emanuel Ax made a
robust contribution to both festivals. And at Bard’s meaty
Summerfest, a Leon Botstein-sized spotlight was thrown on
Rimsky-Korsakov and His World.
Continuing the tradition of presenting immersive experiences, Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music,
directed by Thomas Adès, who conducted and had a
premiere, was infused with the presence of the late Oliver
Knussen, a beloved teacher and admired composer.
Juilliard’s FOCUS! festival of new music, conceived and
led every year by Joel Sachs, offered “China Today,” high-
lighting composers who live and work in that vast country.
Kronos Quartet presented a San Francisco weekend
festival devoted to collaborations on new works with
composers it has commissioned.
GLORY AND HONOR
Kendrick Lamar became the first hip-hop performer to
Igor Levit, a Russian-born pianist raised in Germany,
win a Pulitzer Prize, for his album Damn. President Lee
Bollinger of Columbia University called it a “virtuosic song
collection unified by its vernacular authenticity that offers
affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern
Bent Sorensen, a Danish composer whose flickering
motifs draw comparisons to paintings of Georges Seurat,
won the Grawemeyer Award for his triple concerto, L’Isola
won the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award, given every four
years. Both the Richard Tucker and Beverly Sills awards
its premiere at the Kimmel Center and made its New York
debut at Carnegie Hall.
Esa-Pekka Salonen, resident composer at the New
York Philharmonic, conducted the premiere of Metacosmos
by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, which the Times described as
It was love at first hearing for the Toronto Symphony
and 42-year-old conductor Gustavo Gimeno, who will
become music director in the orchestra’s 2020-21 season.
Stéphane Denève was appointed music director of the
St. Louis Symphony, and Andrew Jorgensen joined Opera
Theatre of Saint Louis as general director.
Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School
appointed Bramwell Tovey as its artistic advisor. Tovey
recently concluded an 18-year tenure as the Vancouver
Symphony Orchestra’s music director, after which he
was named music director emeritus of that ensemble.
Vancouver, without skipping a beat, appointed 48-year-old
Dutch conductor Otto Tausk as music director.
Under its new Music Director Simon Rattle, the London
Symphony plans a tour of 44 cities in 19 countries, including
several in North and—in a first—South America.
Lincoln Center commissioned In the Name of the Earth
by John Luther Adams, a monumental 45-minute work
for 800 voices in which multiple choirs moved around
America’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine. Adams
employed indigenous names of geographical features across
North America to weave a sonic landscape honoring earth,
water, and wind. The original venue—Central Park—was
rained out, but the cathedral was judged favorable to the
ethereal, meticulously honed sounds. Participating singers,
Violinist Leila Josefowicz was winner of the
Avery Fisher Prize. Photo: © 2015 Chris Lee.
Jaap van Zweden on opening night, September 20, 2018, conducting his first concert as the
New York Philharmonic’s new music director. Photo: © 2018 Chris Lee/NY Phil.
YEAR in music