Sunday, April 15, 2012

Better Know a Composer: Lorenzo Palomo

Back in 1999, the Rochester Academy of Medicine commissioned Lorenzo Palomo to write a piece commemorating its centennial. The result was Andalusian Divertimento, which Rebecca Pennys and herNew Arts Trio performed at the 2001 anniversary celebration:

Through this project, the Spanish composer met Sid Sobel, a Flower City oncologist with a particular passion for The Sneetches. They hit it off, and Sobel proposed another commission, this one to set his favorite Seuss story to music.

Tomorrow, the Oberlin Orchestra gives the world premiere of Palomo's Dr. Seuss' The Sneetches, fulfilling Sobel's dream of using a new medium to convey the story's message of tolerance, and showcasing Palomo's flair for orchestral writing.

Unlike so much of Palomo's other music, Sneetches has little of that characteristic (some might say stereotypical) Spanish sound; it does, however, have a strong enough rhythmic flow to move the story along, and lots of catchy melodic hooks to complement the recitation of the story (it's a melodrama).

Sneetches makes its way to Rochester on May 5 and 6 when the RPO and Arild Remmereit perform it with John de Lancie. Everyone at work knows de Lancie as Q, but I'll remember him as the air traffic controller on Breaking Bad. I really don't like Star Trek.