Jennifer Higdon Promoted at Curtis

Jennifer Higdon: Professor of Composition, Theory, and History at CurtisPhoto courtesy Jennifer When I call Jennifer Higdon to talk about her recent promotion to Professor of Composition, Theory, and History at the Curtis Institute of Music, she seems surprised that anyone has been paying attention. When it happened, she says, “It didn’t seem like a […]

Is minimalism still relevant? Randall Woolf

Randall Woolf What has minimalism meant to me? First of all, because of minimalism, I have the feeling of continuity with an older generation of composers. I find the older American minimalists (Reich, Glass, Riley, and M. Monk) to be the musical parents that the other older composers never were. They seem so much like […]

New Music Advocate Don Gillespie Steps Down At C. F. Peters

Don GillespiePhoto by Sabine Matthes In September, Don Gillespie stepped down from his post as Director of Copyright as well as Vice President and Director of the Board at the C.F. Peters Corporation, bringing to a close a career that has spanned 31 years. During that time, Gillespie established an outstanding reputation among friends and […]

Is minimalism still relevant? Charlie Hoyt

Charlie Hoyt It’s going to be a while before we see people roaming the streets in Steve Reich t-shirts and blasting Górecki from their car stereo systems. However, minimalism seems to be permeating pop-culture at an amazing rate. Keeping in mind that the term ‘minimalism’ is used to define a very broad genre of music, […]

A View from the West: Take an Artist to Lunch!

Dean SuzukiPhoto by Ryan Suzuki Morton Feldman once said to a group of student composers and their teachers at Darmstadt, "If you don’t have a friend who’s a painter, you’re in trouble." A more cogent, profound, and brilliant truism would be hard to find. The arts are always a reflection of their culture, their zeitgeist, […]

View From the East: The Talented Donal Fox

Greg Sandow One night about a year ago, Donal Fox sat down at the piano in Merkin Hall and began to play “The Star-Spangled Banner.” This was the start of “Transformations, Variations, Improvisations,” a half-concert (someone else shared the program, I can’t remember who) on which Donal played some partly improvised compositions, none of them […]

Minimal Music, Maximal Impact

Minimalism hit me in my teens like a bolt of fate. About 1972 (I was 16), Steve Achternacht on radio station WRR-FM in Dallas played Terry Riley’s In C on the air. His janglingly repetitive octave C’s started up (which we learned years later had been Steve Reich’s suggestion to hold the piece together), and I didn’t know how to react. This was crazy. All that pulsating repetition gave me a headache, every time I listened. But I kept listening anyway.

Minimalist Memories

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard I still remember the first time I heard the music of each of the four so-called fathers of minimalism. Philip Glass came first for me. It was 1979. I was a junior at the High School of Music and Art and an aspiring composer with little knowledge of contemporary […]