I love the music of all periods and genres, however I feel that much of the music of both the 20th and 21st centuries is generally ignored by many because of lack of exposure. We do not cherish our living composers as much as we should. This is surely different than in other centuries where there is often much excitement about new works.
20th and 21st century music contains much diversity. Currently, there are composers from all over the world that are writing compositions that can be enjoyed by all ages of the general public. There are also “more difficult works” that are appreciated by those interested in more avant-garde techniques. The point is that there is a musical style for everyone in the works of our time. This applies to performers as well as listeners.
In my piano performances, I often choose works that I feel are not only original, but also accessible so a large audience can appreciate them. Currently, I do not perform well-known works from the 19th century or earlier because by doing so I am preventing a gifted composer of our time from being heard. When I chose my repertoire I look for works that illustrate the various sonorities of the piano. Flashy technique for its own sake is not important. I listen to a lot of music, and choose pieces that I feel particularly connected to. In fact, my most recent recital contained new works by various American composers. as well as recent works from Estonia, Canada, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Belgium.
To me, most contemporary music is exciting and accessible. My goal is to present this idea through the music I choose for my recitals and radio program. My only regret is that I can’t spend a bit more time doing what I feel is very important.
We must prove that contemporary music can be exciting, just like the music of earlier times. We have many talented living composers, and it is time that the general public begins to be more exposed to them.