Universiteit Leiden

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Preserving classical symphonic works and expanding to new audiences

Extreme Scoring, the research project by ACPA PhD Michael Drapkin, calls for increased emphasis on chamber orchestras as a way of preserving the symphonic works of the classical music canon and expanding them to new audiences.

Chamber orchestras typically require about a third or less of the number of musicians on stage than a symphony orchestra, making them much more economically viable for smaller communities or areas that cannot support a full symphony orchestra with 80 - 100 salaried musicians. 

To preserve the canon, Drapkin took three symphony orchestra masterworks and rescored them for chamber orchestra, including Strauss's Salome's Dance, Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.  Drapkin's version of these works were recorded by the Janáček  Philharmonic Ostrava in the Czech Republic last December, conducted by Maestro Mark Laycock, who has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and many other orchestras.

Recently Drapkin signed a recording agreement with Zarex Corporation to release these recordings on their Pro Organo label, and they will be distributed worldwide on Naxos, iTunes and Spotify this summer.  As a result, Drapkin has been nominated to NARAS, the recording academy that annually awards the Grammy Awards. Videos of these recordings can be seen on his dissertation website.

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