What do you feel should be the requirements for a composer to be included in the Grove? Thomas Oboe Lee



I have no idea!!!

Three years or so ago when the current Grove was still in its editorial stages, the Chair of my Department at Boston College, T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., asked me how come I was not listed in the Grove. He had been asked by the Grove to contribute an article on Jesuit music. I told him that I had no idea. He said he would nominate me. No one from the Grove contacted me. Nothing happened.

I guess it would be an honor to see one’s name listed in that most sought-after book of reference. But, in all honesty, is it really that important? What is most important to me is that I continue to compose and that I continue to learn about myself through my music. And additionally that musicians want to play and audiences want to hear my work. Without modesty, I have to say I am quite content with how things are going. I have enough commissions to keep me busy year-round, and enough concerts of my music to keep me in the public eye. Recent releases of my work on commercial labels have also helped keep my music in circulation. So, ultimately it’s the work that counts, not whether one’s name is included in some list. Inclusion in any list is ultimately quite subjective. Inevitably, someone will be left out. Charles Ives once said that winning awards and prizes is for boy scouts. He was not interested in recognition; he wrote all that wonderful, visionary music in complete isolation. I applaud him!!!