Friday, March 24, 2006

In Memorium, American Conductor And Opera Producer Sarah Caldwell

... "Taking on difficult 20th-century operas that bigger and better-financed companies shirked from, Ms. Caldwell presented the American premiere productions of Prokofiev's "War and Peace," Schoenberg's "Moses und Aron," Luigi Nono's "Intolleranza," Roger Sessions's "Montezuma," Bernd Alois Zimmermann's "Die Soldaten," Peter Maxwell Davies's "Taverner," and Rodion Shchedrin's "Dead Souls," as well as the world premieres of Gunther Schuller's "The Fisherman and His Wife" and Robert Di Domenica's "The Balcony." ...

In 1974, she became only the second woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic. ... For the program ... Ms. Caldwell offered only works by women: Grazyna Bacewicz, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Lili Boulanger, Pozzi Escot, and Thea Musgrave. ...

In 1988, she organized an ambitious three-week festival called "Making Music Together," which brought 250 Soviet dancers, musicians, composers and other artists to Boston for some 80 events. The festival was budgeted at $2.4 million. But when corporate support and ticket sales did not meet expectations, Governor Michael S. Dukakis, with the intervention of Secretary of State George P. Schultz, bailed Ms. Caldwell out with increased state support, thus averting diplomatic embarrassment"...

Anthony Tommasini "Sarah Caldwell, Opera Conductor, Dies at 82" New York Times March 24, 2006.

American Conductor And Opera Producer Sarah Calwell was described by the British music critic Andrew Porter, in The New Yorker magazine, as "the single best thing about opera in America."

Photo credit: University of Arkansas via the New York Times With thanks.


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