Music: A Bold, Brash 'Cello Symphony

In San Francisco, Ellen Zwilich has a world premiere

When the cello section of the San Francisco Symphony finished a particularly tricky passage in Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's new Symphony No. 2 during rehearsal last week, the rest of the orchestra burst into applause. What provoked the collegial accolade was a daring cadenza for ten instruments playing as one, a high-wire act that is one of the emotional peaks of Zwilich's aptly subtitled 'Cello Symphony. The musicians' reaction was not surprising: Zwilich, 46, who in 1983 became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, has for some time been regarded by fellow professionals as an important contemporary composer....

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