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Kernis Meets the New York Philharmonic

Kernis Meets the New York Philharmonic

(p.26) 3 Kernis Meets the New York Philharmonic
Aaron Jay Kernis
Leta E. Miller
University of Illinois Press

This chapter recounts a highly public—and widely publicized—event on June 7, 1983 that catapulted the twenty-three-year-old Kernis into the national spotlight. At 8:00 that evening, in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, in front of an audience of nearly a thousand, the New York Philharmonic spent an hour reading through and rehearsing Kernis's “dream of the morning sky” (Cycle V), conducted—and critiqued—by music director Zubin Mehta. Nearly every biographical sketch of Kernis cites this event, with varying degrees of accuracy. Major national publications ran stories about it at the time as well. Most critics gave little more than generalized descriptions of Kernis's score. One called it “intoxicatingly beautiful”; a second found its finale “soaring and rhapsodic”; a third called it “rich and imaginative” but “a little spoiled at the last by the rhetorical insistence of the pantheistic text.”

Keywords:   New York Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta, Cycle V

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