• September 8, 2016
  • By Chris
  • Comments Off on 30th Anniversary of Tobias Picker’s Old and Lost Rivers
  • in News

30th Anniversary of Tobias Picker’s Old and Lost Rivers


clear-lake-symphonyThis season marks the 30th anniversary of Tobias Picker’s beloved orchestral tone-poem, Old and Lost Rivers. Numerous orchestras across the country are celebrating the occasion with performances of the work, beginning on September 16 with the Clear Lake Symphony in Nassau Bay, TX.


The season continues with performances by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Christopher Seaman (October 13), the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mark Russell Smith (November 5), and the Santa Fe Community Orchestra (December 2). In the spring, Christoph Eschenbach leads the National Symphony Orchestra in two performances of Old and Lost Rivers (March 9 and 11) at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. The NSO takes the work on its tour to Russia for performances in Moscow and St. Petersburg (March 29-31) as part of the 2017 Mstislav Rostropovich Festival.


Commissioned by the Houston Symphony for its Texas Sesquicentennial Fanfare Project, Old and Lost Riverspremiered in 1986 to wide acclaim. Since then, the work has been hailed by critics and audiences across the world, who have called it “beguiling” (The New Yorker), “lushskillfully written” (New York News Day) and “sublimely beautiful” (Kansas City Star).


Picker’s inspiration for Old and Lost Rivers came from the winding bayous along Interstate 10 in Texas, which were left behind by the wanderings of the Trinity River across the landscape. He elaborates:


When it rains, the bayous fill with water and begin to flow. At other times—when it is dry—they evaporate and turn green in the sun. The two main bayous are called 'Old River' and 'Lost River'. Where they converge, a sign on the side of the highway reads: 'OId and Lost Rivers'.


Old and Lost River’s evocative, richly expressive, and distinctly American palette has assured its distinction as a classic of 20th-century music, which continues to thrill audiences worldwide. A recording by Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony was released in 1991 and is available on Virgin Classics.


For more information on Tobias Picker, including a complete list of performances, visit schott-music.com.

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