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I suppose I could wax philosophically, in maestro-like fashion, and list all of the incredible opportunities our Young-American-Composer-in-Residence residency affords our chosen composer over the three years that they are with us. And while I believe all of these opportunities to be true and worthwhile, I’ll leave other spaces in this program and elsewhere to hoist those banners.

Like the past YACRs, Katie Balch is now part of our family of music makers. While our orchestra members go through a rigorous audition behind a screen to join our ranks, our composer-in-residence gets to stumble and soar right in front of our very eyes. While it may seem as though music is etched in stone once the ink dries on the page, the art of composition is forever mutable and a living art form. From the initial readings of their ideas in the Fall, to the premiere of their work in the Spring, the piece takes shape like an embryo forming in an egg. But once it’s hatched at the premiere, it will often undergo further transformation, continually growing and evolving from performance to performance. Over the course of the three year residency, our YACR hopefully gains the experience and confidence to not only write for an orchestra, but to write with an orchestra.

Like proud parents, we can take heart in that the California Symphony family provided a loving environment for our composer and their compositions to grow and mature, finding the confidence necessary to spread their wings and take that first leap.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time here writing about Tchaikovsky’s Symphony №5. However, I greatly encourage you to watch this interview by the new music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Kirill Petrenko, about this symphony.

And I will ask this one question: Does our hero triumph at the end of this symphony?

Music Director of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic

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