John Harbison is an American composer whose work is notable for its astonishing range and diversity. He has written for every conceivable type of concert performance and is also considered original and accessible for a wide range of audiences. His major works include four string quartets, four symphonies, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning cantata The Flight into Egypt and three operas, including "The Great Gatsby," which was commissioned by The Metropolitan Opera and first performed in December 1999. Harbison has been composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Chamber Festival, the American Academy in Rome, Tanglewood, the California Institute for the Arts and Chamber Music West. He is also an Institute Professor at MIT and the Acting Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music. Harbison holds an MFA from Princeton University.
Question: Whom would you like to interview, and what would you ask?
John Harbison: I can think of a couple people who are sort of part of my world, but not exactly. That’s an interesting question because a couple of those people I already did talk to. I think I’d like to interview this rock star, Bono. I’m interested that he still functions as a musician, but has this idea of turning his global access into some kind of an influential thing. It fascinates me that he wants to do that. I guess for a very different reason, I’d like to interview my favorite soccer player, Alfredo Barraza. He’s been retired for about 10 years.
Recorded On: 6/12/07