Orchestras: Beat Me in St. Louis

Two years ago, St. Louis summoned Conductor Eleazar de Carvalho from Brazil to take over its ailing orchestra, and Conductor de Carvalho, 49, lost no time in letting the patrons know what they could expect. "I am a man of the avant-garde," he said in his first press conference. "We must do something to open their ears."

De Carvalho's latest "something" left mouths open, if not ears. What was it? The U.S. premiere of Greek Composer Yannis Xenakis' Strategic for Two Orchestras and Two Conductors, in which two orchestras get to play segments of the same score at the same...

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