Odd-men out had their forum this month in San Francisco. The San Francisco Symphony celebrated unusual American composers in a two-and-a-half week event called "Mavericks Festival" (June 7-24). Some of these composers were only mavericks during their early period. Aaron Copland, for instance, became very popular as his career developed. Other composers featured at the Mavericks Festival are still alive, and their music continues to be known only to connoisseurs. The idea for the festival stems from the orchestra's music director, Michael Tilson Thomas. He himself sticks out among his colleagues in America because he is American, and most of the major American orchestras are led by foreigners. Besides that, most music directors in America lean heavily on repertory that is safe at the ticket box, as American orchestras receive very little public funding. However, Michael Tilson Thomas is confident that his Mavericks Festival is a good investment in the future. Georg Hirsch attended the festival in San Francisco.
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