In March 2010, drastic fiscal measures were proposed to balance the Detroit city budget which included the firing of all arts teachers in the Detroit Public School system. Operatic tenor George Shirley, university emeritus professor of music and former director of the Vocal Arts Division of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, began documenting the situation, and we asked him to share his information with NewMusicBox.
The Nemmers Prize is a welcome sign that my music seems to resonate “out there” in the larger world; At the same time, I’ve found myself wondering: Does this mean that I’m no longer an outsider?
I had little or no real appreciation for the constraints that blindness enforced upon my career choices, my creative development, and my entire musical evolution because, having never seen the world as the fully sighted do, I had no way of imagining any other world than the one in which I lived.
The Pulitzer isn’t just about me or the Violin Concerto; it’s also about something that was reflected in the concert tonight: the myriads of folks who have taught me in various ways.
If a concert came along where over 80 or 90 percent of the concert’s costs were covered, would the administration of an orchestra jump at the chance? I’ll bet you they would!
I get approached all the time by folks both young and old alike who are getting started in this crazy business. This is what I tell them.
I was invited to testify before the Federal Communications Commission in the fall of 2009 about two issues: digital piracy and rural broadband access. The former, because I am a composer, and the latter, because I am a composer who lives on a small, remote, bridge-less island floating off the coast of the United States who has created and managed her career largely on the internet.
Our ability to share our creations around the world lies in our access to the necessary portal.
Are the kinds of art Americans are seeking and the places they want to go to experience that art accurately being measured by a survey like this one? Are the nation’s cultural organizations evolving fast enough to meet those needs and effectively support the livelihoods of living artists?
While it is nothing new for an American composer to find himself living overseas, I’ve noticed that most composers (and Americans in general) have a very limited conception of “where the action is” in Europe.