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British composer misses Carnegie Hall deadline

Oliver Knussen has failed to deliver a new work to the Philadelphia Orchestra in time for a Carnegie Hall premiere next month. A slow worker, meticulous in his exactitude, Knussen has previously missed deadlines for the Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic – so Philadelphia were not caught short. They had another composer waiting, score in hand, for the opportunity. Read all about it here.

NPG x33549; Oliver Knussen by George Newson

photo © George Newson / Lebrecht Music & Arts

And the substitute is…

gabriela lena frank

photo (c) Philadelphia Orchestra/Ryan Donnell.


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  1. Don Clark says:

    Wall Street Journal is subscription only and I do not recognize the composer… So I, for one, am in the dark.

  2. stanley cohen says:

    Knussen’s in good company – Beethoven, Wagner, Berlioz…

  3. Sir:

    I know many professional composers who have missed a deadline at some point in their careers; the trouble is that we tend to underestimate the amount of time required to write, typeset, and edit a piece. I would suggest that – just as composers are advised to have to hand a set of spare parts – orchestras should be advised to have to hand a spare composer! To economise, perhaps commissioning partnerships could be the way forward (e.g. have three orchestras cumulatively commission four new pieces).

  4. Would it sound terribly sarcastic if I suggested that more composers should miss their deadlines?

    • a few missed deadlines from Malcolm Williamson significantly blighted his career.
      Numerous missed deadlines from Knussen have been less of a drawback, though not sure what his reputation is outside the UK and US.

  5. Please refrain from abusing other respondents.

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