The more consistent one’s style and language are, the easier it is for a select group of performers and listeners to form a strong relationship with a composer over time. Conversely, less consistency can increase the variety and numbers of performers and audiences that enjoy a composer’s works.
When you compose a piece of music it is something for which you are taking responsibility. I was reminded of this last week when I observed the final session of the first American Composers Orchestra/Mannes Summer High School Composers Intensive.
In the minds of many people, publishers are monoliths—giant, impenetrable entities that control the copyrights of others and draconically police their usage. But what was particularly heartwarming about the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Music Publishers Association was how deeply personal it all was.
I studied with Lukas Foss at BU during 1995-96; he packed all of his teaching into one day a week, flying up from New York to work with composition students and, sometimes, to conduct the university orchestra.
Virgil Thomson outside his apartment at the Chelsea Hotel
Merce Cunningham and John Cage at home