Eighteen years ago, I spent an afternoon at the Brandon home of Michael Ippolito, where he sat at the piano talking about his newly composed Rhapsodie Pathetique. He played a passage and looked at me, confidently. “I’m the piano,’’ he said, “and the orchestra is the world.’’
Dorothy Hindman isn’t your typical classical composer. Her music is fearless, post-modern, tightly wound, sometimes digital, punctuated with punk, and always ear-opening. Music critics describe her compositions as visceral, profound, spectral. Some works cascade into a state of entropy, like a swirling black hole in deep space.
It’s not every day that a classical composer sits down and writes a piece of music about your home town. But that’s what Daniel Crozier did with his newly minted Splendor Fountain, his homage to the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater area.
For Stuart Malina, Common Fanfare for an Uncommon Orchestra was uncommonly difficult to compose. In fact, it almost never happened at all.
Like many American kids growing up, Kevin Wilt dreamed of being a superhero. One day he was Batman, jumping across skyscrapers as crowds on the streets looked up in awe. The next day he was Spider-Man, spinning a web of intrigue over the city skyline.
This just might be the most intriguing title of a work in the entire Florida Orchestra season: Horizon Gravy. Sounds delicious, but what does it mean? We asked Paul Reller, a University of South Florida associate professor of music who composed the piece as part of TFO’s Florida Fanfare Project to celebrate its 50th season.