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Psycho: A Narrative For String Orchestra

Sun, April 17, 2016 – 3:30 pm

Psycho: A Narrative For String Orchestra

A towering figure in 20th-century American music, Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) has long been stigmatized as a “Hollywood composer.” Though he is our supreme composer for film (Citizen Kane, Vertigo, North by Northwest, etc.), his concert output remains unknown. He composed the fascinating soundtrack for Psycho, one of Hitchcock’s greatest hits.

Working with the legendary Norman Corwin, Herrmann was also America’s foremost radio composer, and conductor of a radio orchestra – William Paley’s CBS Symphony – that boldly promoted new and unfamiliar music. His Clarinet Quintet is an American masterpiece. His String Sinfonietta is a study for his famous Psycho score (restored and edited by Jhon Maureci in 1999). It was the first ever to celebrate Herrmann “in the round” as one of the most important and influential American musical personalities of his generation.

This concert is part of the program Bernard Herrmann: Screen, Stage and Radio that took place at the National Gallery of Art from April 1–26, 2016.



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