Music: Pittsburgh Renaissance

Modern music has two basic problems: 1) it doesn't get heard, and 2) it gets heard.

—John Erskine

In Pittsburgh last week, modern music was heard, loud and clear. The occasion: the city's first International Contemporary Music Festival. For a total of 15 hours, the rafters of two concert halls rang with the peculiarly bright and gloomy, slick and perverse sounds of modernist music. At times, the cacophonies seemed to be competing with the harsh melody of Pittsburgh's blast furnaces. Most of it was tried and (often) true music that has been played for...

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