Frederick Loewe Symposium in American Music

To honor the University’s long tradition of celebrating American Music and Frederick Loewe’s support for the School of Music, we established the Frederick Loewe Medal for American Music in 2011. This award honors a clearly recognized statesman of American music for sustained contributions in composition, scholarship, and/or performance. The medal is presented in conjunction with the Frederick Loewe Symposium on American Music and recipients also participate in a weeklong residency designed to focus on the work of a senior figure in American music. Adding to the specialness unique to Redlands, the medal was created and cast in bronze by our very own professors of Art Raul Acero and Penny McElroy.

Recipients of the Loewe Medal include Gunther Schuller (2011), William Bolcom (2012), Joan Tower (2013), and Libby Larsen (2015).

The Loewe Symposium in American Music
April 9-14, 2018

Composer in Residence: Christopher Theofanidis
Scholar in Residence: Susan Key

Concerts and master classes will take place throughout the week, with presentations from scholars, a keynote talk by Susan Key, and a final concert with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra on April 13 and 14, 2018.

Call for Papers:

What’s Next for the “Great American Symphony”?

For the 2018 Loewe Symposium in American Music we invite presentations on the American symphony as genre, medium, and institution. Inspired by Composer in Residence Christopher Theofanidis—in particular his collaborations with conductor Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra—we will examine the evolution of symphonic writing in the Americas and the past, present, and future roles of the symphony orchestra in public life. Questions of repertoire, community engagement, creative process, and the education of both audiences and new generations of musicians continue to shape the realities of American symphonic music. In response to these questions, we particularly welcome interdisciplinary papers, collaborative presentations, proposed panels, and alternate formats.

Individual presentations should last 20 minutes with a following period of 10 minutes for discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to loewesymposium@gmail.com. Include your contact information and any technology or other requirements with the abstract, as well as a brief description of your proposed format if it differs substantially from a 20-minute paper. Submissions are due by November 30, 2017. Participants will be notified in early December.

Our guests:

Christopher Theofanidis (b. 12/18/67 in Dallas, Texas) has had performances by many leading orchestras from around the world, including the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Moscow Soloists, the National, Baltimore, St. Louis, and Detroit Symphonies, among many others.  He has also served as Composer of the Year for the Pittsburgh Symphony during their 2006-7 season, for which he wrote a violin concerto for Sarah Chang. 

Mr. Theofanidis holds degrees from Yale, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Houston, and has been the recipient of the International Masterprize, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship to France to study with Tristan Mural at IRCAM, a Tanglewood fellowship, and two fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy award for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, The Here and Now, based on the poetry of Rumi.  His orchestral work, Rainbow Body, has been one of the most performed new orchestral works of the new millennium, having been performed by over 150 orchestras internationally.

Mr. Theofanidis’ has written a ballet for the American Ballet Theatre, a work for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra as part of their ‘New Brandenburg’ series, and two operas for the San Francisco and Houston Grand Opera companies.  Thomas Hampson sang the lead role in the San Francisco work.  His work for Houston, The Refuge, featured six sets of international non-Western musicians alongside the opera musicians.  He has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony and Maestro Robert Spano, and has just had his concert length oratorio, Creation/Creator, recorded with them.  That work will be featured at the SHIFT festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. next season with the ASO, chorus, and soloists.  His new work, Dreamtime Ancestors, for the orchestral consortium, New Music for America, is being played by over fifty orchestras this and next season.  He has served as a delegate to the US-Japan Foundation’s Leadership Program, and he is a former faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University as well as the Juilliard School.  Mr. Theofanidis is currently a professor at Yale University.

Susan Key is a public musicologist. She is based at Chapman University, where she teaches in the honors program and coordinates a partnership with the Pacific Symphony. She also works on projects for the Star Spangled Music Foundation and baritone Thomas Hampson’s Song of America initiative. Formerly she was Special Projects Director at the San Francisco Symphony, where she worked on a variety of projects in media and education, including education and web design for the Keeping Score series. 

Dr. Key began her career as a high school music teacher before earning a doctorate in historical musicology and teaching at the University of Maryland, the College of William and Mary, and Stanford University. Her publications include articles on Stephen Foster, on John Cage, and on arts education. She has developed public programs for the San Francisco Symphony, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has served on the boards of the Society for American Music, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the chamber music organization Pacific Serenades. Her current passion is playing old-time fiddle.