Friday, April 24, 2020

John Malveaux: The 14th Symphony of Roy Harris, with chorus, has never been performed on an American stage since the premiere in 1976

Murray Sidlin

John Malveaux of writes:

American composer Roy Harris 'BICENTENNIAL SYMPHONY' premiered at Kennedy Center with National Symphony Orchestra Feb. 10-12, 1976 under the baton of substitute conductor Murray Sidlin. Conductor Antal Dorati became ill after reviewing the score.  Roy Harris believed a great achievement to highlight during the 1st 200 years is the Union victory in the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. A significant number of the 1976 audience was appalled by the text of Roy Harris composition. The symphony with chorus has never been performed on an American stage since the premiere. Roy Harris was a treasured friend along with his wife Johana. After his death in 1979, Johana Harris gave me performance and promotional rights to the historic but boycotted American symphony. In 1979, after 33 years, I was fortunate to partner with City of Long Beach Parks Recreation & Marine to produce a community/amateur FREE performance of the 'Bicentennial Symphony' to prevent non-existence and a record.  The greatest opportunity for exposure of the 'Bicenntennial Symphony', aka 14 Symphony, came some years ago from a person I never personally met. John Walker, producer at WNET Great Performances, told me that if i could get any top 10 orchestra in the United States to perform the 'Bicentennial Symphony', WNET Great Performances would broadcast the concert. I currently have an agreement with Maestro Murray Sidlin to conduct the 'Bicentennial Symphony' but do not have a top 10 orchestra to date.  See

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