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SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras

SHIFT logoClassical WETA is pleased to support SHIFT, a week-long festival of American orchestras presented by the Kennedy Center and Washington Performing Arts. From March 27th through April 1st, four ensembles will present full-orchestra performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall as well as education events, symposia, and community events in venues around Washington.

Classical WETA hosts spoke with representatives of each ensemble as well as with the leaders of the two presenting organizations: Deborah Rutter (Kennedy Center) and Jenny Bilfield (Washington Performing Arts). Classical Conversations interview features will be added to this page through the beginning of the festival on March 27th — check back often.

Visit the Kennedy Center website for a full schedule of the SHIFT Festival.

Deborah Rutter & Jenny Bilfield

SHIFT: Deborah Rutter & Jenny Bilfield: I

Why do it?  Who benefits from it?

Deborah Rutter & Jenny Bilfield with David Ginder

SHIFT: Jenny Bilfield & Deborah Rutter: II

What is the SHIFT Festival?

JFK Bronze Bust in the Kennedy Center Grand Foyer

SHIFT: Deborah Rutter on JFK

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter on the significance of the Center named for JFK being co-presenter, with Washington Performing Arts, of the SHIFT Festival.

Deborah Rutter & Jenny Bilfield

SHIFT: Deborah Rutter & Jenny Bilfield: III

The specifics of the four orchestras, and what they're each bringing to concerts and residencies.

Boulder Phil Maestro Butterman

SHIFT: Boulder's Maestro Butterman I

Part One of a conversation with the Boulder Philharmonic's Maestro Michael Butterman.

Boulder Phil Music Director Michael Butterman

SHIFT: Boulder's Maestro Butterman II

Boulder Philharmonic Maestro Michael Butterman discusses the content of the orchestra's concert in the 2017 SHIFT Festival with Marilyn Cooley.

Musical Hike credit Boulder Philharmonic

SHIFT: Dave Sutherland, Boulder Naturalist

Boulder naturalist Dave Sutherland, collaborator with the Boulder Philharmonic, talks with Marilyn Cooley about musical nature hikes.

Caroline Shaw credit Dashon Burton

SHIFT: Caroline Shaw

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw talks with Classical WETA's Marilyn Cooley about the creative process and more.

Eric Jacobsen, The Knights

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts are presenting SHIFT:  A Festival of American Orchestras.  Classical WETA's Nicole Lacroix speaks to Eric Jacobsen, co-founder and conductor of one of the featured ensembles, The Knights, about the SHIFT program and their Kennedy Center Concert Hall debut.  

Grant Llewellyn, Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony

SHIFT: Grant Llewellyn, North Carolina Symphony Music Director

Wednesday night, March 29th, 2017 at 8PM in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the North Carolina Symphony under conductor Grant Llewellyn offers an innovative all-American program by four composers with ties to the state:  Pulitzer Prize-winners Caroline Shaw and Robert Ward, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Mason Bates.  Classical WETA's Deb Lamberton talks to Maestro Llewellyn about the program, and about how he pitched the North Carolina Symphony when creating his submission to the SHIFT festival.

Christopher Theofanidis (Credit: Matthew Friend)

SHIFT: Composer Christopher Theofanidis and Creation/Creator

When composer Christopher Theofanidis was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to write an oratorio about creation, he didn't want to mimic Haydn's great work celebrating the Biblical story, rather he wanted to write a work about the creative process drawn from multiple perspectives.  The result can be heard Friday night, March 31, 2017 at 8 PM as the SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras presents Theofanidis' "Creation/Creator" in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, soloists and actors led by Music Director Robert Spano.  Classical WETA's Deb Lamberton spoke with Mr. Theofanidis about his own creative process, and together they take a music-filled tour of this impressively cinematic and dramatic work.

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