Podcast Classics

  • ANTHEIL: A Jazz Symphony ( 16′ 52″ )

    Liam Wooding (piano), Auckland Chamber Orchestra conducted by Peter Scholes. Recorded by Radio New Zealand Concert in Auckland's Raye Freedman Arts Centre, 15 September 2013.

George Antheil (1900-1959)

A Jazz Symphony

Composing at the Keyboard George AntheilAmerican composer George Antheil began his professional career in Europe, moving back to the United States to settle in Hollywood. He wrote over 300 works in all the major genres, including symphonies, chamber works, film music and operas.

Antheil originally wrote A Jazz Symphony in 1925, and it was premiered at Carnegie Hall. The initial scoring of the work was for a very large ensemble (including three pianos), and Antheil went on to write a reduced version in 1955. The version in this podcast is a later arrangement by Milton Phibbs, for an even smaller ensemble.

After its premiere the work received critical acclaim from George Gershwin and Aaron Copland, and it was considered one of the first works to openly and successfully display a jazz influence in a classical context.

The performers from the Auckland Chamber Orchestra on this recording are:

Liam Wooding, piano
Adrianna Lis, flute
Donald Nicholls, clarinet
Yvette Audain, saxophone
Rachel Guan, bassoon
Nicola Baker, horn
Huw Dan, trumpet
Tim Sutton, trombone
Miranda Adams, violin
Evgeny Lanchtchikov, double bass
Paul McIvor, banjo
Eric Renick/Tom Broome, percussion

Image: George Antheil composing at the piano,1940s

Peter Scholes, conductor

Peter ScholesPeter Scholes pursues a dual career as a conductor, clarinetist, and composer. He was the founder, and is currently Musical Director, of the Auckland Chamber Orchestra. He studied conducting with Juan Matteucci and has conducted all the professional New Zealand orchestras as well as orchestras overseas.

He was principal clarinet with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra from 1980-1993, and has lectured at both the University of Auckland and Waikato University.

Complete Biography


Producer: Tim Dodd
Engineer: Darryl Stack
Programme notes: Hannah Sassman