Listen: Boston Musicians Join for Sold-Out 'Orchestral Tribute to David Bowie'
Friday, January 29, 2016
Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 pm, Q2 Music presented MIT Music and Theater Art's "Orchestral Tribute to David Bowie" with a live webcast from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's prestigious Kresge Auditorium. The event paid tribute to the iconic and iconoclastic musician who died of cancer on Sunday, January 10 at the age of 69, shortly after the release of his farewell album "Blackstar."
Composer and MIT professor Evan Ziporyn led an all-volunteer orchestra comprised of area professionals and members of the MIT community in a sold-out performance of Philip Glass's Symphony No. 1, "Low" and Symphony No. 4, "Heroes" – works inspired by the ground-breaking albums by David Bowie and Brian Eno of the '70s. There was also a special orchestral arrangement of Bowie's "Let’s Dance" that closed the show.
Ziporyn, who organized the event, says: "This is a way for the musical community of Boston to channel our grief and express our gratitude to Bowie in a positive way. The generosity of these top-notch musicians has been incredible, putting their time and talent toward this project on extremely short notice. It took less than a day to put an entire orchestra together, and that’s a real testament, both to Bowie’s impact and to the spirit of our community."
Glass writes of the symphonies' composition: "My approach was to treat the [Bowie and Eno] themes very much as if they were my own and allow their transformations to follow my own compositional bent when possible. In practice, however, Bowie and Eno’s music certainly influenced how I worked, leading me to sometimes surprising music conclusions. In the end I think I arrived at something of a real collaboration between my music and theirs."
Philip Glass: Symphony No. 1, "Low"
Philip Glass: Symphony No. 4, "Heroes"
David Bowie: "Let's Dance" (arr. Evan Ziporyn)
All proceeds from the event go the Frontier Research Fund for cancer research at MIT. This event was co-produced by MIT Music and Theater Arts and Richard Guérin with Orange Mountain Music.