Byline: Lawrence A. Johnson
It's hard to believe that John Corigliano turned 67 years old last Wednesday for several reasons. Most obviously the composer looks a good 20 years younger than his age and retains a youthful enthusiasm, rattling off opinions with the vigorous, fast-talking energy one would expect from a native New Yorker.
Corigliano's spirited personality is also reflected in the power and restless dynamism of his music. Much like the blazing orchestral fireworks launched in his "Mannheim Rocket," the American composer's music bristles with an urgent vitality and brilliant scoring that make a vivid impression on listeners.
That power is currently being unleashed with the all-Corigliano program performed by conductor Misha Rachlevsky and the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin on their current American tour, which includes "The Red Violin" and his Pulitzer Prize-winning Symphony No. 2.
Considering Corigliano's high-profile success at home in the United States, it's somewhat surprising that such leading advocacy of his music has come from a Russian conductor and chamber orchestra.
"I find it very easy to deal with Russian musicians," says the composer by phone from New York City. "Unlike, say, English musicians or others who separate the idea of intellectual and emotional, for the Russians they see the two as one thing. They could see that the Second …