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Music in Time: Music of Kaija Saariaho 

When: Thu., June 9, 5 p.m. 2011
Phone: (843) 722-2764
Price: $25
www.spoletousa.org

FOR ADVENTUROUS EARS. Then be there at Simons Center recital hall for any or all of this year's four Music in Time concerts. Newly named festival Resident Conductor John Kennedy's main mission (among many) in life is to sift through as much cutting-edge contemporary music as he can and bring it to you in this fascinating and evergreen series. That can be a mind-boggling process, given the huge number of living composers out there right now. So, if you're curious about who the emerging Mozarts and Beethovens of the 21st century might be, just stick with Kennedy and his MIT series, and you just may find out.

NEW MUSIC MEANS LIVING COMPOSERS Two composers will be in town this year: Kaija Saariaho and Osvaldo Golijov. Saariaho will have an entire program devoted to her music, and there'll be a single piece by Golijov (much more from him in the chamber series). Kennedy's programs will also include music from a bunch of others among today's leading musical lights, including "A Sweeter Music," a series of pieces commissioned (and also played) by pianist Sarah Cahill from various big-name tunesmiths on the theme of a famous Martin Luther King, Jr. quote. We'll also get The Time Gallery, a virtuosic, but accessible concert-length work by Paul Moravec that explores the many dimensions of time.

BRING YOUR HANKY The series opener Endangered Natures promises to be moving. Kennedy will present two of his own compositions, one of which, "Garden Winds," was written in memory of the late Edwin Gardner, a remarkable Charlestonian who was a close friend of Kennedy's. As he puts it, "Edwin was one of the free spirits of the world, and perhaps the most wonderfully curious person I ever knew."

— Lindsay Koob

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