"No figure in British contemporary music is more respected than Oliver Knussen" -The Guardian This reissue celebrates composer/ conductor Oliver Knussen's 60th birthday. Works include the luminous Second Symphony, which takes the form of a 17-minute song cycle to texts of Georg Trakl and Sylvia Plath and Symphony No. 3, a symphonic poem about Shakespeare's Ophelia, conducted by New World Symphony Founder/ Artistic Director and San Francisco Symphony Music Director, Michael Tilson Thomas. Oliver Knussen began composing at about the age of six and at age fifteen, Knussen stepped in to conduct his First Symphony's premier at the Royal Festival Hall after Istvin Kertesz fell ill. After that debut, Barenboim asked him to conduct the work's first two movements in New York a week later. It was as early as the Second Symphony in the words of Julian Anderson, that "Knussen's compositional personality abruptly appeared, fully formed".