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The Hopkins Review
On the Life of a Twenty-First Century
Composer: Michael Hersch

By Susan Forscher Weiss
Project MUSE [http://muse.jhu.edu]
The Hopkins Review - Volume 4, Number 2,
Spring 2011, pp. 195-209
E-ISSN: 1939-9774 Print ISSN: 1939-6589
DOI: 10.1353/thr.2011.0046


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The Composer Michael Hersch in 2007

Project MUSE - The Hopkins Review - On the Life of a Twenty-First Century Composer: Michael Hersch Project MUSE Journals The Hopkins Review Volume 4, Number 2, Spring 2011 (New Series) On the Life of a Twenty-First Century Composer: Michael Hersch The Hopkins Review Volume 4, Number 2, Spring 2011 (New Series) E-ISSN: 1939-9774 Print ISSN: 1939-6589 DOI: 10.1353/thr.2011.0046 On the Life of a Twenty-First Century Composer:Michael Hersch Susan Forscher Weiss Click for larger view The Composer Michael Hersch in 2007 Three years after his solo-piano work The Vanishing Pavilions appeared, Michael Hersch unveiled Last Autumn, Part II of his massive trilogy, in October 2009 at St. Mark's Church in Philadelphia. The unusual instrumentation, for French horn and cello, was written for cellist Daniel Gaisford and the composer's hornist brother, Jamie (co-principal of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra). The music critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns, a long-time follower of Hersch's music, in an article published before the premier, prepared his readers for hearing a work lacking "typical points of reference" that leave "listeners further unmoored from what they know." He added, "Music with such ambiguous destinations can be frightening." The piece premiered on a rainy autumn evening in a church filled with musicians and music lovers eager for this major new work by a composer many of them knew personally. In the program notes, Aaron Grad...
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