Conrad Tao | KERA News

Conrad Tao

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas audiences heard two music premieres over the weekend, both commissioned to celebrate the legacy of  John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of the president's assassination. Listeners of the symphonic work and chamber piece found the music moving and effective, whether they lived through trauma half a century ago or not. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra premieres its composition in memory of John F. Kennedy on Thursday night. When the orchestra decided to commission an original piece for this 50th anniversary weekend, it didn’t turn to one of the graybeard composers with memories of that fateful day. It chose 19-year-old Conrad Tao, who was born three decades after the assassination.