Author Archives: Alexandra Gardner

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.

Accommodating Dissonance

By Alexandra Gardner

Situations ranging from a bout of the flu, the needs of family members, or forces of nature can and do occur at totally unpredictable times, causing scheduling snafus ranging from missed events to having to push back composing deadlines—the ultimate forms of life dissonance.

Generation Gap Carousel

By Alexandra Gardner

It seems that the older generation should be proud of, not to mention reap the benefits of, the years they spent building musical roadways, while the younger generation, which is (and should be) taking advantage of those routes and repaving them using their own materials—as the generation after them will surely do—can always be learning from the past.