I went to the final concert of the ditson music festival at the ICA, which featured BMOP. According to BMOP’s website the festival is “The first in a series of biennial festivals of contemporary music initiated by the Alice M. Ditson Fund, which supports music by emerging American composers,” and Boston was certainly a great choice for the first city to showcase. Earlier in the week such cornerstones of the contemporary music scene in Boston as BMV and Collage made their appearance, and there’s no doubt the whole series was a great way to bring all of Boston’s different groups together.
As for the concert itself, in general I agreed with most of Matthew Guerrieri’s review in the Boston Globe. I quite enjoyed the Kirchner, and although I thought the last thing I needed to hear was another tone poem about the sea, Arthur Levering’s “Il Mare Dentro” was far from banal and was full of lovely moments.
I found the ICA’s theater to be less than ideal, however. Everyone agreed that the hall’s sound was too dry for the orchestral instruments, although there were differing opinions on the entirely glass walls which allowed the audience to watch the ships passing behind the orchestra. Personally I found the view of the water and the ships to be distracting. This would’ve been less of a problem to me if the ICA had put up some sort of barriers to prevent passersby from wandering around directly outside the stage and peering in at the concert so that the audience was forced to watch them as much as the orchestra. But despite the drawbacks of the location the concert was well executed and a nice close to a festival celebrating Boston’s contemporary classical music.