Grant to bring a heralded composer to Annapolis

June 15, 2000|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Annapolis Symphony finds itself keeping some pretty spiffy company these days.

The orchestra recently joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphonies of Seattle, Milwaukee, New Jersey and Albany, Ga., and the American Composers Orchestra of New York as a recipient of a "Music Alive" grant awarded by the American Symphony Orchestra League.

"Music Alive" is a composer residency program designed to bring American orchestras and prominent composers together to generate community support for contemporary music.

The arts community in and around Annapolis will benefit from this grant by spending two weeks of the ASO's 40th anniversary season - which begins in September -in the company of Stephen Paulus, one of the country's most prolific and frequently performed composers. Artists who have commissioned works from this 50-year-old musician based in St. Paul, Minn., include baritones Thomas Hampson and Hakan Hagegard, soprano Evelyn Lear, trumpeter Doc Severinsen, pop star Leo Kottke, and William Preucil, concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Paulus has composed seven operas, four of them commissioned by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He is currently at work on "Heloise and Abelard," a commission from the Juilliard Opera Center.

Working with orchestras is nothing new for this artist who has served as a composer-in-residence with the Atlanta Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony of Arizona and the Dale Warland Singers, a superb choral ensemble based in Minnesota.

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