Orchestras: Big Five Plus One?

After sitting in on rehearsals last week for the U.S. premiere of his two-hour oratorio, the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ According to St. Luke, Polish Composer Krzysztof Penderecki was exuberant. The conductor, he said, "is excellent. He understands modern music—he has composed it himself. I have complete trust in him." Penderecki was talking about the musical director of the Minneapolis Symphony, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, 44. Later in the week, Skrowaczewski returned the compliment by leading his orchestra, soloists and local choristers in two austerely jolting performances of the Passion at Minneapolis' Northrup Auditorium.

Auspicious Strides. That Minneapolis was chosen...

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