Making 2011 the Year of the Composer

On February 17, 2011, Governor Peter Shumlin declared this the Year of the Composer in Vermont; what had happened in 30-plus years to bring Vermont from artistic backwater to being the first state to declare its commitment to new music?

Raising Young Voices


To mark the tenth anniversary of Transient Glory, the Young People’s Chorus of New York’s ongoing commissioning, performance, and recording program, YPC Founder and Artistic Director Francisco Núñez writes about how this important initiative first got started and how it has continued to flourish as it enters its second decade.

Why Louis is Different

Louis Andriessen, 2003

Many Americans would love to claim Louis Andriessen as ours simply because we recognize so much of us in him and of him in us.

On New Opera and Film Music


I’ve often been asked why I would want to compose an opera and while I actually expect this question to arise among those who know me primarily through my work as a film composer, when it’s asked by accomplished composers who have also composed operas, it seems that its answer lies more in the philosophical than the practical.

Does a Composer’s Body Need to be Tuned?


Professional singers and dancers have always been trained to think of their bodies as delicate instruments that need constant maintenance, instrumentalists less so, but is it possible that we have not recognized heretofore that a composer’s body is itself an instrument, too?

Complexity Wars

The Complexity Wars flared up again this summer—that seemingly annual outbreak of the opinion that various types of atonal modernism are just too complicated for proper musical consumption.

New York State of Mind


I’ve achieved enough success that my day job currently supplements my income as a composer, but I could not have accomplished the things I have accomplished had I been living in New York.