Spring for Music held Fantasy Programming Contests for the first two years of the festival. I entered twice, and won both years. These are the programs I created:

Eternal Stories

The Program:

Richard Strauss- Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Op. 30 (35:00)

Von den Hinterweltlern
Von der grossen Sehnsucht
Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften
Das Grablied
Von der Wissenschaft
Der Genesende
Das Tanzlied – Das Nachtlied
Das Nachtwanderlied


John Williams- Superman (56:00)

The Planet Krypton
The Destruction of Krypton
Star Ship Escapes
The Trip to Earth
The Fortress of Solitude
Main Title March (alternate version)
The March of the Villains
The Flying Sequence
Super Dam and Finding Lois
Turning Back the World
Finale and End Title March (film version)

The case for my program:

Nietzsche took the ancient Persian myth of Zoroaster, and refashioned it to tell the story of Zarathustra. Nietzsche’s uber-man, with the eternal feminine venturing forth, was the basis for Strauss’ tone poem. Here God is dead, and man is in the middle of the journey from animal to God. Then, the American retelling of this same story of “the being that dances over gravity” — John Williams’ Superman.

Too Popular

The Program:

Wagner: Das Rheingold – Prelude (5:00)

Herrmann: Psycho – A narrative for String Orchestra (16:00)

Glass: The Hours – Concerto for piano and string orchestra (24:00)


Glass: Symphony No. 9 (50:00)

The case for my program:

Film music is a largely untapped source of really great programming options for orchestras. And at the moment, film music is kept separate (mostly) from classical music. Thus we have Classical concerts, and Pops concerts, and even separate Contemporary Music concerts.

We ought to program all their music together, routinely.

This program shows what it might look like to mix all three. It’s a compelling example of what can happen if we agree to regard all American symphonic art on the same terms. This would be good for programming and for the larger art form, and perhaps even for the bottom line.