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Born: 1938, New Rochelle, New York
"I think Beethoven needs someone next to him that reminds you the music is vulnerable rather than it's just a masterpiece and so therefore why should we even bother to think about it. The wonderful thing about new music is the reaction it provokes. 'Do I like this or don't I like it?' The audience is reacting to the music itself. With Beethoven, they don't do that."
Joan Tower's bold and energetic music is filled with striking imagery and novel structural forms, and has won large, enthusiastic audiences. From 1969 to 1984, Tower was pianist and founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, which commissioned and premiered many of her most popular works. Her first orchestral work, Sequoia, toured throughout Canada, Europe, and Russia in a choreographed version by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, in addition to its many orchestra performances. Tower's tremendously popular five Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman have been played by over 400 different ensembles, and she has been the subject of television documentaries on PBS's WGBH television station in Boston, on the CBS network program, Sunday Morning, and MJW Productions in England.
Sequoia for Orchestra (1981)
St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin
Piano Concerto (1985)
Ursula Oppens, Louisville Orchestra,
Joseph Silverstein (d'Note Classics)