Quarter notes: Golijov retrospective at Cornish

Since his arrival in Seattle two years ago, Kent Devereaux’s impact on Cornish’s music department has been tangible and welcome. The credit doesn’t go to Devereaux entirely of course. Cornish is lucky to have faculty who appreciate the new and aren’t afraid of exploring the unknown. Equally as important in my mind, Cornish isn’t afraid to share their Capitol Hill stage with other talented musicians in the community. The Seattle Modern Orchestra has taken up a residency of sorts at Cornish presenting a full season of modern orchestral music.

In the same spirit, the Odeonquartet presents an entire program of Osvaldo Golijov’s music. Golijov’s polyglot musical style — which mixes Jewish, Western classical music, South American, and folk influences — is understandable given Golijov’s own upbringing. Golijov was born in Argentina; his parents were Russian Jews via Romania; he studied music in the United States with George Crumb and before this studied in Israel.

Tonight’s performance includes Golijov’s Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind with Laurie DeLuca on clarinet. Below is a but a taste of this magically somber piece. If you want to hear it live, the Odeon Quartet plays tonight Poncho Recital Hall starting at 8 pm. Do catch this show if you can.

Also in the news, Julia Tai, founder of the Seattle Modern Orchestra, has been named the new director of Philharmonia Northwest. Philharmonia Northwest will no doubt challenge and complement this young but talented conductor. She now heads two local orchestras: the Modern Orchestra which surveys the outer limits of contemporary orchestral music and now the Philharmonia with a repertory that tends to stick closer to Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, and the rest of the Austro-Germans.

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