Bending and Breaking

Sometimes when an artist bends himself enough to the task at hand, he or she breaks through instead of just breaking.

Breaking the Ice

Chamber rehearsals offer a chance to talk with the musicians, and actual time to do so, which is a hell of a better deal than what most orchestras will be down for: maybe 20-25 minutes tops on a new piece, most of which you will you will be sitting out while the conductor gets the group into shape.

Falling Into the Claptrap

I’m not a fan of people bothering each other during concerts, but compared to, say, slowly unwrapping a Ricola, clapping between movements seems pretty benign.

Core Values

A good teacher’s ability to share a vision is particularly powerful in shaping a composer’s development.

The Other Foot

I’ve agreed to look over some entries for a student composition prize, and scores are spilling all over the desk and onto the floor.

Crunch Time

After nearly three years of writing back-to-back commissions the truth is that I’m pretty fed up with the whole way of doing things.

Media Blitz

It is our own choices that define “home” and not arbitrary factors of geography and heredity.


Classical music’s limited success in mass gatherings owes much to its finest qualities; big ideas are more often than not also vague ideas and their size does not necessarily denote great intricacy.


Too much resistance can be frustrating and counterproductive, but too little can also be just as bad.

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