19-Year-Old to Compose Piece Commemorating JFK Assassination Anniversary, 11/21-24
On November 21-24, 2013, 19-year-old pianist/composer Conrad Tao will premiere his new composition The World Is Very Different Now, performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaap van Zweden. The piece is part of a concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963, and The World Is Very Different Now was commissioned especially for the event by the DSO with support by the National Endowment for the Arts and TACA.
This past June, Conrad released his debut album Voyages on Warner Classics (formerly EMI Classics), and oversaw the successful launch of his own UNPLAY Festival, a three-day event which he conceived and curated.
The title of Tao's The World Is Very Different Now is taken from a speech given by President Kennedy. The composer explains:
The World Is Very Different Now is ultimately about memory. I wanted to explore the way this assassination was an event associated with a myriad of specific and individual memories; it is one of those epoch-making events where everyone remembers "where they were." Those hyper-real, unique memories intersect with historical narrative, the writing of which is in many ways a process of memory-formation as well. I wanted to write a piece that explored the reverberations of these many memories and experiences. I was curious to see if those remains could articulate something interesting, and at least a little unfamiliar, about both the assassination and the quote from JFK's inaugural address that gives the work its title.
The concert is sponsored by Bickel & Brewer Foundation and also features Darius Milhaud's short work Murder of a Great Chief of State, Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica, and violinist Joshua Bell performing the Violin Concerto by Sibelius.
Plus, get a sneak peek at Conrad Tao's work below!
Photo Credit: Lauren Farmer