Composer Emerging

By Alexandra Gardner

Does an “emerging composer” turn into a straight up “composer” by finishing a doctoral degree, getting a tenure track teaching position or receiving a commission from a major orchestra?

Sounds Heard: Robert Poss—Settings

Although the fourteen works on Robert Poss’s latest CD, Settings: Music for Dance, Film, Fashion and Industry were made to be combined with other forces such as dance, they also stand on their own and together form an assortment of music full of interest and variety.

Creating A World

One of the greatest strengths of John Luther Adams is his ability to remind us through his music that the world is indeed a sacred space to be cherished and treated with the utmost respect.

Strength in Numbers

By Alexandra Gardner

Because the #DWG Twitter event (that stands for Dead White Guys) has already been expertly summarized, I’m not going to attempt any such thing. Rather, I’m interested in addressing why there are not more women (and other non-#DWGs) writing contemporary classical music.

We’re Gonna Program Like It’s…1954

By Alexandra Gardner

Given the fact that composers who happen to be female are making a greater worldwide impact than ever before, it boggles my mind that they continue to be overlooked by the larger institutions of our musical world.

Competition Curiosity

By Alexandra Gardner

I wonder about competitions that want compositions with unusual instrumentations. A piece written for eighth blackbird could be performed by a number of other groups, but what about that work for tuba, guitar, and accordion?

Guess You Had To Be There

By Alexandra Gardner

Earlier this week Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette pointed to two contrasting reviews of the same concert, and asked readers to comment on the pros and cons of each.

Sounds Heard: Joel Harrison—Life Force

Composer, guitarist, arranger and bandleader Joel Harrison’s 2010 CD Life Force, featuring Wendy Sutter on cello and Tim Fain on violin, spotlights five compositions inspired by and dedicated to relatives and close friends.

Thanks, Mom!

By Alexandra Gardner
Amy Chua, the “Tiger Mother,” started quite the firestorm with her Wall Street Journal essay, especially among mothers utterly appalled at the militaristic approach Chua has taken towards the musical education of her two daughters.