Eighteen Years Ago, He Got 314 People to Perform His Music in the Meyerson

Henry Brant
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

We begin this a.m. with a note of passing that has nothing to do with the end of the Dallas Mavericks' torturous season. The Washington Post carries today the obituary for composer Henry Brant, the 94-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winner who died Friday at his home in Santa Barbara, California. And the local connection is ... ?

In April 1990, not long after the dust had settled at the newly opened Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Brandt debuted one of his now-immortal spatial pieces, all of which involved the scattering of musicians around the concert hall. But this one was particularly epic: Brandt's work, written specifically for the I.M. Pei-designed Meyerson, was titled "Prisons of the Mind" -- and, for those who don't recall the spectacular-spectacular, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on that night was expanded to accommodate 314 musicians with "eight separated groups, with eight conductors." The purpose of the piece, it has been written, was to "showcase [the Meyerson's] superb acoustics," though damned if I can find a recording of the event among his estimable discography. So, this a.m., a request amongst those in the classical know: Does one exist? Because now'd be the time to share it. --Robert Wilonsky

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.