Established in 1987 under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, this unique educational environment prepares gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership positions in orchestras and ensembles around the world.
Since its inaugural concert on February 4, 1988, the New World Symphony has been heard in such prestigious venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, London's Barbican Centre, Paris's Bastille Opera and Argentina's Teatro Colon.
NWS has been televised on PBS, London Weekend Television and Univision. New World Symphony tours have included performances in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Monaco, and throughout the United States. The New World Symphony has worked with such internationally recognized conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, Marek Janowski, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski; violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter, Midori, Gil Shaham and Sarah Chang; and such other artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Renee Fleming, John Adams, Emanuel Ax, Yuri Bashmet, Barbara Hendricks and Gloria Estefan.
In 1991, Mr. Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony were presented in a series of benefit concerts for UNICEF in the U.S. featuring Audrey Hepburn as narrator of From the Diary of Anne Frank, composed by Mr. Tilson Thomas and commissioned by UNICEF. In April 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas and the musicians performed with Debra Winger for the season finale concerts in Miami, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and New York's Avery Fisher Hall.
The New World Symphony has made seven recordings to date. In January 1997, BMG Classics released NWS' first recording on the RCA Red Seal label with Mr. Tilson Thomas leading the musicians in works by Heitor Villa-Lobos. A second disc for RCA Red Seal entitled New World Jazz was released in September 1998, and features Mr. Tilson Thomas and the orchestra in vibrant interpretations of jazz-inspired works by 20th-century composers. On Argo/Decca, the Grammy-nominated Tangazo, featuring Latin-American classics with Michael Tilson Thomas, was released in March 1993; Four Parables, with John Nelson conducting music of the American composer Paul Schoenfield, was released in June 1994. Defining Dahl: The Music of Ingolf Dahl, conducted by Mr. Tilson Thomas, was released in 1995, also on the Argo label. Other releases on Argo/Decca include Coptic Light, music of Morton Feldman led by Mr. Tilson Thomas, and Amy Beach's piano concerto with soloist Alan Feinberg and conductor John Nelson.
In the 27 years since its inception, NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 900 alumni worldwide. In North America, they are members of such ensembles as the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony in Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Symphony. Their placement in foreign orchestras includes symphonies and chamber orchestras in Germany, China, Hong Kong, France and Spain. In addition, many New World Symphony musicians have chosen career paths in chamber music, music education and arts management.
I (orchestral version)
II (Piano solo version performed by John Cage)
III (orchestral version)
Performed with Merce Cunningham's Second Hand and Enter
Brandon Collwes, dancer
Andrea Weber, dancer
Raushan Mitchell, choreographic stager
Joe Levasseur, lighting designer (based on the design by Christine Shallenberg)
Adam Larsen, video designer (using archival recordings by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company)
Jasper Johns, costume designer
Choreography Note by Patricia Lent:
Cheap Imitation was originally performed with merce Cunningham's Second Hand (1970). As with Cage's composition, the dance is structured in three movements. Movement I is a solo (originally danced by Merce Cunningham); Movement II is a duet (originally danced by Cunningham and Carolyn Brown); Movement III is a group section for ten dancers. In this video, Movements I and II were performed by Brandon Collwes and Andrea Weber as originally choreographed. Movement III is presented as a duet for Mr. Collwes and Ms. Weber, incorporating material from both Second Hand and Enter (1992), in a new arrangement by Rashaun Mitchell. This live dance is accompanied by a new video by Adam Larsen using archival recordings of Second Hand performed by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Directors - Michael Tilson Thomas, Clyde Scott, Adam Larsen
Director of Photography - Abdiel Thorne
Audio Recording Engineer - Roberto Toledo
Assistant Audio Recording Engineer - Brandon Johnson
Editors - Adam Larsen, David Marin
Producer - Gary Sales
Executive Producer - Michael Tilson Thomas