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About this Piece

Druckman’s last major work, Counterpoise, was originally composed for soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Philadelphia Orchestra, in which form it was first performed under conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch on April 28, 1994. The chamber-ensemble version was completed on March 25, 1995, at the composer’s home in Milford, Connecticut. Critic Mark Swed’s general description of his music fits this work well: "At the heart of the works of Jacob Druckman lies the bold, sure, and often arrestingly physical dramatic gesture… Yet Druckman’s scores have always exhibited another characteristic as well: that of careful structure, built with meticulous attention to detail. The process of integrating these two sides of his character -- the passionately physical expression with the cooler intellectual organization of pitches and rhythms -- [was] a consistent factor throughout the composer’s development."

Steven Stuck is the Philharmonic's New Music Advisor.