A recording of NC State composer Rodney Waschka’s orchestra piece, Belgrade Overture, has been released on the Australian/American record label Ablaze. The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by British conductor Mikel Toms, recorded the work for a compact disc aimed at highlighting some of the best composers of new music for orchestra from throughout the world. The disc is called “Orchestral Masters.”
Hear an excerpt of the recording online (wav audio file).
Waschka, professor of arts studies, composed the piece in 2008 for the Radio Television Symphony Orchestra of Serbia with the help of a computer program he designed based on the concept of genetic algorithms. The work, scored for a standard orchestra, also makes use of a Serbian folk tune.
Belgrade Overture received its world premiere in the Kolarac Foundation Hall in Belgrade, Serbia on Nov. 22, 2008, in a performance of the RTS Symphony Orchestra of Serbia conducted by Bojan Sudjic as part of the International Review of Composers festival. The work has since been performed in the United States by the Knox-Galesburg Symphony conducted by Bruce Polay.
The Brno Symphony Orchestra of the Czech Republic has a long and impressive history and has worked with conductors such as Kurt Masur and Yehudi Menuhin, and soloists of the caliber of Gidon Kremer and Sviatoslav Richter. Toms studied at Oxford and has conducted the Royal Philharmonic, the London Chamber Orchestra and many other groups in the U.K. and abroad. He is now director of recordings for the Brno Philharmonic.
Waschka, known for his computer music and his theatrical works, including an opera trilogy, is an internationally recognized expert in computer music. He wrote the chapter on composing with genetic algorithms for the book “Evolutionary Computer Music,” published by Springer. His pieces are widely performed and more than 20 recordings of his music have been previously released on labels in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Portugal. His works are published by Borik Press and American Composers Editions.