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October 15, 1993 - Image 75

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-15

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director of the Albany Sym-
phony Orchestra, will feature
a composition by University
of Michigan professor
Michael Daugherty when he
leads the DSO in four perfor-
mances Nov. 5-7.
"I thought it was a very
wonderful opportunity to let
his own home area know that
a jewel of a composer is at U-



M," said Mr. Miller, who will
present "Oh, Lois!" as part of
an American/Spanish pro-
gram. "His pieces are being
played all over the country."
With pianist Alicia de Lar-
rocha also sharing the spot-
light, he has included two
works in her honor – "Nights
in the Gardens of Spain" by
Falla and "Rapsodia Sinfoni-

Photo by Victoria Mih ich

New York con-
ductor soon
will introduce
Detroit Sym-
phony Orches-
tra audiences
to the music of
an Ann Arbor
David Alan
Miller, music

A California conductor in Albany will bring
an Ann Arbor composer to Detroit.

David Alan Miller: Guest with the DSO.

ca" by Turina.
Mr. Miller, who grew up
with and continues to love
Hebrew and Yiddish songs as
the son of a California cantor,
will round out his local con-
certs with numbers by two
Jewish composers — Aaron
Copland and Leonard Bern-
"These two have very beau-
tiful works about American leg-
ends," said the former associate
conductor of the Los Angeles
Philharmonic. "In their own
ways, both make very power-
ful statements and are inter-
esting pieces to hear together
because they are very different
and yet remain exquisite
American masterpieces.
"Copland's 'Billy the Kid' is
so much about the American
West, and I've always mar-
veled that this Jewish man
from Brooklyn,
who basically
spent almost no
time in the
western United
States, could
capture better
than anyone
else the wide
open expanses of
the region.
"Bernstein, a
Jewish man
from Boston,
managed to cap-
ture the hard,
difficult, urban environment of
the docks in New York with his
music for 'On the Waterfront."
Mr. Miller, 32, a piano and
trombone player, knew he
wanted to be a conductor when
he was still in his teens and
has devised about 20 concerts
to appeal to the interests of
young people and families.
Two earlier engagements
with the DSO were planned
around these special presenta-
tions, and he is scheduled to do
another in December — "How
Music Saved the Holidays," a
nondenominational celebra-
"The young people's concerts
grew out of my job description
as associate conductor in Los
Angeles," explained Mr. Miller,
who also was music director of

the New York Youth Sympho-
"I was in charge of educa-
tional concerts, and rather
than doing 'Peter and the Wolf
over and over again, I tried to
create wacky, wild introduc-
tions for other works.
"With young people, I always
try to grab them with the loud-
est, fastest, most exciting mu-
sic possible, especially because
there is so much competition.
Kids are used to pop songs that
last three or four minutes, and
so I tend to choose pieces that
are between four and 10 min-
"I always have a theme that
binds all the music together,
and I stick to the great works
because it's my feeling that
those are what show the or-
chestras off to best advantage.
"I feel that one of the crucial
challenges is
young people
about the beau-
ty and excite-
ment of
orchestral mu-
sic, and if we
aren't able to do
that, our audi-
ences are going
to disappear.
"I view edu-
cation as a very
integral part of
what I do in Al-
bany and what I do around the
country when I guest conduct."
Mr. Miller, who earned his
bachelor's degree from the Uni-
versity of California at Berke-
ley and his master's at
Juilliard, tours about one-third
of the year and spends the re-
maining months in Albany,
where he has worked since
"I'm trying to make the or- CY)
chestra very flexible," said Mr.
Miller about his goals in Al- Co
bany, where he wants each
piece to sound very authentic. w
For example, if they are pre- co
senting a work by Haydn, the
sound should be clean, clear
and precise, as it was during
the time the composer actual-


MILLER page 83


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