Music: Two by Americans

Manhattan concert audiences last week heard fine performances of two unusual compositions that were widely different in style but unmistakably American in origin.

¶ The Orchestra of America, founded two years ago to perform nothing but American music, presented the world premiere of Robert Kurka's Concerto for Marimba. Composer Kurka, Chicago-born son of Czech parents, went to work on his 22-minute concerto in 1956 at the suggestion of Marimbist Vida Chenoweth. completed the piece a year before his death of leukemia in 1957 at 35. Last week's performance, conducted by Richard Korn, featured Marimbist Chenoweth as soloist. A small woman (5...

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