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Robert Xavier Rodríguez

Publisher: G. Schirmer

A Colorful Symphony (1987)
Commissioned by The National Endowment for the Arts for the Indianapolis, Syracuse, and Buffalo Symphonies
Text Writer
Norton Juster from “The Phantom Toll Booth”
G Schirmer Inc
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
20 Minutes

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Score Score

Programme Note
Robert Xavier Rodríguez A Colorful Symphony (1987)
Based on a classic children's story, A Colorful Symphony has become a musical classic in its own right, with regular performances throughout the United States on youth and family concerts.

  • 20 OCT 2013
    Dayton, OH
    Dayton Philharmonic
    Neal Gittleman, conductor
  • 27 OCT 2012
    Redwood City, CA
    Redwood Symphony
    Valerie Sarfaty; Eric Kujawsky, conductor
  • 25 MAR 2012
    Dallas, Texas
    Dallas Symphony
    Richard Giargiulio, conductor
  • 30 OCT 2009
    Redwood City, CA
    Redwood Symphony
    Valerie Sarfaty, narrator; Eric Kujawsky, conductor
  • 16 OCT 2009
    National Symphonic Orchestra of Chile
    Eduardo Browne, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17 October - Argentina
  • 04 NOV 2008
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Cedar Rapids Symphony
    Timothy Hankewich, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 November - Cedar Rapids, IA
  • 08 FEB 2006
    Kansas City, MO
    Kansas City Symphony

    Other Dates:
    9-14 February - Kansas City, MO

A Colorful Symphony (1987) is based on a chapter from Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth (1961), in which a boy enters a magical land where an orchestra and its conductor play color into the world each day. Rodríguez's music takes full advantage of the orchestral palate, using one physical sense, hearing, to create another, seeing. He accomplishes this with great skill. For example, his creation of the rainbow is a tour de force.
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs,,27/03/2012
...a work that would delight children and adults alike...Rodríguez' symphony works on all levels, as a charming story of a boy, Milo, who finds himself in a magic land where sounds and colors are the same, as a guide to the orchestra's various sections and instruments and, simply, as a piece of music.
Charles Staff, Indianapolis News,01/01/0001
...a closely knit union of imaginative words and music...The story tone-poem deserves a long life.
Jay Harvey, Indianapolis Star,01/01/0001 of the finest compositions addressed to young audiences. Not since Prokofiev's 1936 Peter and the Wolf and Britten's 1945 Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra has such a piece entered the repertoire.
Gary L. Good, Executive Director, Milwaukee Symphony,01/01/0001
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