Cultural Life: Alex Prior, conductor

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The Independent Culture

Music

I just finished listening to John Adams's latest opera, 'A Flowering Tree'. A very moving and lyrical turn in style for this great master. I also went to a concert at the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. The highlight was the Barber Violin Concerto, conducted by Gerard Schwarz. I am very fond of American music, especially as it has continued to work with tonal/modal styles, while much of Europe has converted to atonality in the last 100 years.

Films

I recently saw a very touching short film about Chief Seattle and his famous reply – a profound speech about the sacred nature of the environment.

Opera

I saw 'Il Trovatore' at the Seattle Opera. I am not usually somebody who would choose to go to a Verdi opera (conducting it is an all together different matter), but this production followed the composer's wishes and didn't do anything modern.

Books

I just finished reading 'Hallelujah Junction', John Adams's autobiography. It's an amazing journey through his mind.

Alex Prior, the 17-year-old conductor/composer, conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with four other young virtuosos at the Barbican, London EC2 on 8 April in aid of Children with Leukaemia (Barbican.org.uk)

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