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Will the Real Bob Dylan Lookalike Please Stand Up?

September 22, 2009

Esteemed American composer John Corigliano visited Australia during September 2009. The Grammy® and Oscar award-winning American composer was the inaugural international composer for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney’s centenary celebration project 101 Compositions for 100 Years. During his Sydney stay, Mr Corigliano presented a lecture about his Percussion Concerto, worked with music students and attended performances of his works, including the Australian première of his Grammy® Award-winning song cycle Mr Tambourine Man, which sets the poetry of Bob Dylan.

CORIGLIANO Mr Tambourine Man, 3 Hallucinations
Plitmann, Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta

‘A colleague suggested that I look into the poetry of the songs of Bob Dylan. Having not yet listened to the songs, I decided to send away for the texts only… and found many of them to be every bit as beautiful and as immediate as I had heard—and surprisingly well-suited to my own musical language…these would be in no way arrangements, or variations, or in any way derivations of the music of the original songs, which I decided to not hear before the cycle was complete…I intended to treat the Dylan lyrics as the poems I found them to be. Nor would their settings make any attempt at pop or rock writing. I wanted to take poetry I knew to be strongly associated with popular art and readdress it in terms of concert art—crossover in the opposite direction, one might say. Dylan granted his permission, and I set to work.’ – John Corigliano

Mr Tambourine Man won two Grammy® Awards earlier this year: soprano Hila Plitmann won the award for Best Classical Vocal Performance and the work itself won the award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

Amidst all the serious work, some fun was had with a Bob Dylan dress-up competition organised by the Conservatorium. The picture shows the Naxos recording of  Mr Tambourine Man being given as a ‘best dressed’ prize!

Other Bob Dylan look-alike contenders are shown below:

John Corigliano Biography & Discography


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