"...2) COMPASSION (Austin Symphony with Lior) Hearing this little-known song cycle by Nigel Westlake and Lior Attar made clear why ASO's Peter Bay was moved to bring it to Austin: its power and timeliness, beseeching us all to open our hearts to one another now...."
"...When he arrived in 1998, he brought an invigorating energy to the classical scene, and over 18 seasons with ASO, Bay's encyclopedic knowledge of music and calm command have raised its players' level of musicianship and forged a true ensemble, whether playing classic repertoire by the Killer Bs, Mozart, and Mahler; 20th century fare by Bernstein, Copland, and Prokofiev; or even newer work. Indeed, Bay has been a champion of contemporary music, programming orchestral works of the last 20 years by Toru Takemitsu, John Corigliano, Kevin Puts, and Austin's Donald Grantham; American premieres of works by Graham Fitkin and Nigel Westlake; and world premieres of works commissioned by ASO: Field of Infinite Forms by Christopher Theofanidis and Symphony No..."
"...• You may not think of the Austin Symphony as performing compositions ahead of every other orchestra on the continent, but that's just what the ASO will be doing in April. Music Director Peter Bay has programmed the North American premiere of Compassion, by the Australian composer Nigel Westlake, who created the song cycle while grieving for his son Eli after his murder at the age of 21..."