With Nadia Sirota finishing up her much-anticipated residency at Symphony Space, so, too, has her latest episode of WQXR-Q2's Meet the Composer podcast just wrapped with everyone's favorite working composer, Nico Muhly. And for their parts together, Sirota and Muhly will soon be packing up to hit the road with one of our own favorite working composers' collective, Iceland's Bedroom Community--for the third iteration of their grand "Whale Watching Tour."
With both European bona fides (that Watson fellowship with Nadia Boulanger in Paris) and studies with composers that can sound European (those PhD lessons with Leon Kirchner at Harvard), American composer Robert Sirota remains precisely that: a quintessentially American composer. In his mature works, thorny chromaticism often plays nicely within rounded, deliberate forms. And there's always a true economy of means -- no motive where none intended. European-inspired, maybe, but his is a curious blend, no doubt informed by Sirota's many academic appointments up and down America's eastern seaboard (NYU, BU, Peabody, Manhattan School of Music). Not that Robert Sirota is an ivory tower, himself. Case in point: Sirota's brand new, beguiling work for Sandbox Percussion, Spindrift.