Readers of these pages are already aware that Bernard Holland’s New York Times essay, “The Audience as Arbiter,” triggered quite a bit of commentary from the new music community, including a response we published earlier this month by Los Angeles-based composer William Kraft.
But the holidays have in no way diminished the debate these essays have unleashed. Scott Johnson’s view of the whole matter is 180 degrees away from Kraft’s, while Roger Rudenstein’s appraisal of things seems 180 away from Johnson’s without quite returning back to Kraft’s view—indeed, this is more of a spiral than a circle.
What are your thoughts about the audience’s responsibilities toward music of our time that is beyond the domain of the Billboard charts? What are your thoughts about composers’ responsibilities to an audience? Perhaps we can glean a New Year’s resolution or two herein.