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“Keep on pickin'”– That’s one of the many mantras of legendary composer, conductor, and performer David Amram. He used that mantra when sending out his composition portfolio to job prospects. Several times that portfolio was returned to him unopened, so he simply changed the address on the package and sent it out again. In 1966, however, his portfolio caught the attention of another legendary composer and performer, Leonard Bernstein, and he received the position of composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic.
Before that, Amram had written lush and beautiful scores to films such as The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Splendor in the Grass (1960), so it was no wonder that he would ascend to the lofty position of composer-in-residence.
Amram is also an incredible instrumentalist, being one of the first people to pioneer Jazz French Horn and an incredible piano player. Amram will show off his talents on the Mountain Stage Radio Show on Sunday, July 23rd at the Culture Center in Charleston. The show begins at 7 PM. Amram will perform songs such as Woody Guthrie’s “Pastures a plenty” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” on piano with the Mountain Stage Band backing him.
Hear more about David in the interview below:
Find tickets to his Mountain Stage debut here.