Boston premieres two Bowie symphonies

Boston premieres two Bowie symphonies


norman lebrecht

January 17, 2016

A volunteer orchestra at MIT is putting on the first performances in the Boston area of two symphonies by Philip Glass, based on the albums of David Bowie.

The conductor Evan Ziporyn says: ‘This is a way for the musical community of Boston to channel our grief and express our gratitude to Bowie in a positive way. The generosity of these top-notch musicians has been incredible, putting their time and talent toward this project on extremely short notice. It took less than a day to put an entire orchestra together.’

The concert is on January 29. Tickets at $15 here. Free to MIT students. All proceeds to cancer research.



  • Barbara LaFitte says:

    Actually, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra performed 3 movements of Glass’ Symphony #4, “Heroes”, on November 12, 2010. The concert was under the direction of Francisco Noya, held at the Northeastern University’s Fenway Center. We performed Abdulmajid, Sense of Doubt, and V2 Schneider for a very enthusiastic packed house!

  • Burleigh says:

    Does the music community of Boston really need to “channel it’s grief”?

    This reaction is so silly. I can see merits to performing these pieces, but goodness, this is really over the top. Were you personally close with him?

    • May says:

      There might have been a misprint in the quote. It should read:
      The conductor Evan Ziporyn says: “This is a way for the musical community of Boston to channel my ego …”

    • Fred Obelisk says:

      Surprising, isn’t it, this wave of grief, like a kick in the guts.
      As if a part of our lives, labelled ‘The 1970s’ has been taken away.
      Those memories burnt into the brain have a soundtrack, signed David Bowie.
      How he combined piano, violin, voice and guitar, brilliantly, reached us, and coloured our dreams.
      Now gone.

      Yes Burleigh, some of us grieve.
      Millions, actually.

  • John McLaughlin Williams says:

    My heart leapt; I thought it read “…premieres two Bowen symphonies”. No such luck.