'Made in America': Diamond in the Rough

Audio for this story from Performance Today is not available.

David Diamond

Originally trained as a violinist, American composer David Diamond was known for his sense of melody. Courtesy Seattle Symphony hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony conductor Gerard Schwartz has put together a weeklong festival of music by important American composers who never quite reached the superstar status of a Leonard Bernstein or Aaron Copland.

They're all from a generation of what might be called American "romantic" composers whose music fell out of fashion mid-century when a new, more aggressive style of composing came into vogue, especially in the universities.

David Diamond, who recently passed away, is a composer from that generation. He specialized in writing good, hummable tunes.

When Schwarz first heard Diamond's music, he knew he'd stumbled on an American original. He is particularly fond of Diamond's Concerto for Small Orchestra, which he says is a throwback to the old baroque concerto grosso formula.

We hear the Concerto for Small Orchestra, performed by the Seattle Symphony, led by Schwarz, in concert at Benaroya Hall. The soloists are principal trumpeter Rick Presley and principal clarinetist Christopher Sereque.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.