William Bolcom: The `Wedding' planner
By John von Rhein
Tribune music critic
September 12, 2004
Elden is William Bolcom's middle name, but it might just as well be Eclectic. He's perhaps the most versatile "serious" composer now at work in America and he's spread himself over more musical genres than even he is aware of. Whether he's writing cabaret songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, or a cello sonata for Yo-Yo Ma, his varied output blithely defies the often artificial distinctions between serious and popular music.
His two large-scale operas, "McTeague" (1992) and "A View From the Bridge" (1999), commissioned and premiered by Lyric Opera, attracted international attention and were taken up by other companies. Lyric's advocacy has put Bolcom squarely at the center of the recent flowering of opera by Americans.
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