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Jay performing Peer Gynt At Boston Symphony Hall with Steven Karidoyanes conducting. Jay's daughter, Laura, interprets the story for the Deaf.

Jay performing Peer Gynt At Boston Symphony Hall with Steven Karidoyanes conducting. Jay's daughter, Laura, interprets the story for the Deaf.

 

 

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Harry Ellis Dickson conducting

 

Peer Gynt and Hary Janos Suite March 1983

 

I was commissioned to create this work for performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra because Harry Ellis Dickson was captivated by the idea of the story inspiring the composer. Greig was inspired by the story of Peer Gynt; I was inspired by Grieg.

 

You enter into the hall of the mountain king with Peer Gynt. The music has power, but that power is much greater when you realize that the mountain hall is fisalled with trolls. Peer Gynt is filled with wonder and terror. That sense rose in me because the music rose in me. And suddenly the symphony hall becomes the Hall of the Mountain King.
--Jay O'Callahan

 

 

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Michael Krajewski conducting

 

"Telltale Music" January 1985

 

The nicest compliment I got after performing Hary Janos in Detroit was a woman rushing backstage saying "You were an instrument! You were an instrument!" I had become part of the orchestra. The cues are flying back and forth furiously. You have the battle raging and you have Hary Janos taking moments in between to describe his Hungarian heroics.

 

Krajewski opened with the orchestra telling a story with Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann. I followed with my story "Orange Cheeks, then we combined efforts in Kodaly's Hary Janos.
-Jay O'Callahan

 

 

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

William Henry Curry conducting

 

Peer Gynt November 1986

 

Music and storytelling are time-bound arts with some shared elements: introductory and linking material, suspense, repetition and variation, climaxes and so forth. So it shouldn't be surprising when they get together in a mutually enhancing way as they did Sunday when the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra opened with Jay O'Callahan. Read Full Review
-Indianapolis Star

 

 

Jay performing Peer Gynt At Boston Symphony Hall

New England Conservatory Youth Orchestra

Steven Karidoyanes conducting

 

Peer Gynt December 2005

It was exciting to work with Steven Karidoyanes again! The New England Conservatory Youth Orchestra accompanied my telling of Peer Gynt to First Night Boston audiences. My daughter, Laura, interpreted for the Deaf. The audience was electric, the student musicians were professional, and Steven was superb.

 

 

 

Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra

Steven Karidoyanes conducting

 

Peer Gynt and Woe Is Me Bones March 2002

 

What a delight to work with Steven Karidoyanes, a conductor of vision and energy. We discovered a brand new way of introducing the narrator for Peer Gynt. And what fun to tell my own story, Woe Is Me Bones, after the orchestra played Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's the Flight of the Bumblebee.

 

 

Tales and Scales Chamber Symphony Orchestra

The Little Dragon March 5, 1994

 

Tales and Scales commissioned Scott Wheeler to compose music for Jay's story, The Little Dragon. Tales and Scales introduces children to classical music by both playing instruments and acting out a dramatic work. The Little Dragon was performed with Tales and Scales and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.