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About this Piece

Urban Runway is a co-commission of the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.

The concept for Urban Runway grew out of an amusing conversation with friends concerning the colorful idiosyncrasies of those who offer their patronage to the fashion houses on 5th Avenue in New York or Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.

New clothes, even those unseen inside designer shopping bags, appear to influence the gait of shoppers as they strut along the sidewalk. With a little imagination the listener might care to speculate on the characters depicted in the music.

Based upon a simple ostinato figure housed in a cakewalk rhythm, the score is laced with jazz and minimalist flavors. A flugel horn and marimba introduce distinctive elements, and perhaps characteristically, the violas take a moment to remind us of the benefits of the ‘pre-owned’ grunge look...

- Bramwell Tovey