Orchestra concert features premiere AI performance

The Grove City College Department of Music presents the Orchestra program’s final performances of the academic year at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28 in Ketler Auditorium of the Pew Fine Arts Center on campus.

The concert is free and open to the public and will be livestreamed at gcc.edu/livestream.

It will feature the world premiere of the first movement of David Cope’s “Symphony (After Beethoven),” which was composed using artificial intelligence. The Symphony Orchestra will also be performing the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances” and “Baba Yaga” and “Great Gate of Kiev” from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” The Chamber Orchestra will perform movements from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings.”

“Symphony (After Beethoven)” was created using artificial intelligence based on sketches of Beethoven’s famously unfinished 10th Symphony. This project was started by Cope in the 1990s but has not had a live performance until now.

Dr. Jeffrey Tedford ’00, chair of Music and director of Orchestras said he was approached about bringing the work to life by Music Technology Instructor Mark Wasilko ’17, who received the score from Cope. “I was immediately interested due to all the current conversations happening regarding AI,” Tedford said. “I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to see what an artificial intelligence can create and how our students would respond to this idea.”

Many students were skeptical at first, he said. “But after rehearsing the work and realizing it is their responsibility to interpret the music like any other work, they have started to warm up to it,” he said. “The symphony orchestra is proud to present the world premiere of this work and ask the question ‘what is musical creativity?”

Doors open at 7 p.m. For more about the Department of Music, visit gcc.edu/musi.

Orchestra concert features premiere AI performance

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