Last Friday I went to the Minnesota Orchestra concert which featured several works by Eric Whitacre– including 3 orchestral premiers! This is him:
I’m hopelessly in love with him.
Not so much for the blonde tresses and smirkiness, but he’s just cool. And his music is nothing short of amazing.
He may look kind of douchey, but he’s really not. He’s totally a rock star in the world of modern composition and young conductors, which would normally go to a person’s head. But he’s actually super genuine and down to earth. And friendly!
He loves working with the Minnesota Orchestra (actually premiering works here!) he hosts q&a sessions before concerts, and does meet-n-greets in the lobby after his concerts where he stays until everyone in the line has a chance with him (selfies included!)
And most of all he’s whimsical and fun! He’s a very animated conductor, and anyone who composes a piece called “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” and then scores it for full orchestra and chorus is someone that bears watching.
He’s mostly known as a choral composer, and his choral works are lush and emotional and angsty and thick and ethereal and… GAHHHH! So gorgeous.
His stuff was actually the catalyst behind me trying to compose my own stuff.
He was also a pioneer in the whole “virtual choir” movement, where people from all over the world connect via electronic devices to sing as one in a performance.
The big premier of the evening was his brand new work written as an homage to one of the Hubble Telescope’s images of a previously dark and absolutely minuscule region of the night sky. The telescope was set to a long exposure over 10 days, and the dark region was actually found to be full of 3000+ galaxy’s and objects from the furthest reaches in our universe.
He was so moved and awed by the image and the science that he wrote a piece called “Deep Field” for large orchestra, chorus, and app.
The audience was to download an app, and then press play when given a cue. Everyone’s phone would then play this ethereal, shimmery music and display images from the Hubble Telescope and the symphonic work drew to a close.
In theory this is an awesome blend of classic and modern, with an audience participatory twist. Unfortunately people are stupid so there were numerous glitches– including someone’s phone ringing just as the piece started.
I also wish the app thing wasn’t included as it really took me out of the beauty of the performance.
Still… The music was sumptuous. I want a recording of it, LIKE NAO! And if possible, I love him even more.