(I invited Stephen to post this) I think it should be interesting to hear all positive practical suggestions. I would like to comment about the overall problems that make it difficult for new compositions to enter the repertoire (because entering the repertoire is what new music rarely ever does…) I have founded a blog to discuss the big questions, called Restore the Arts, at transarts.live – it also has a Facebook Page of the same name. I think the two biggest problems facing the music world – and especially new composers – are 1. The failure of music criticism to create progress and 2. the disappearance of amateurism as a positive influence. Re1: The failure of music criticism is hard to put in a nutshell – but the big problem is that it does not encourage people to discard, permanently, outmoded or mediocre things (like atonality, or tired minimalism). If you do not discard outmoded things for better things, you cannot progress or recognize true progress. Re 2: The loss of enlightened amateurism is devastating because now no one recognizes the role of talent that is not on the level of genius. This role at one time was valuable, in helping to educate, to prepare the way for those other, very rare, talents that should be preserved for the good of the art form. Now everyone competes for the same recognition, making it impossible for anyone to be recognized except by sheer circumstance and luck. (Example: Anne Midgette celebrated in a Washington Post article the appearance of a new database of some 2000 new women composers. Is it good news that there 2000 more new composers of any gender – when the world has never discovered more than a few great composers in any era of music history?) An enlightened amateurism should be in place, coupled with a new music criticism, to encourage the hundreds of new women composers in the database who are not worthy of being preserved, to recognize another role for themselves in the music world (and men too of course.) One need is for more and better music critics – composers should fill this need, and guide amateurs as well. (TS Eliot said that poets make the best poetry critics, and explains why, and the same can be true in music.). I will post this at Restore the Arts.
A Composer’s Difficult Question
From Stephen Perks, posted on Facebook at “Conductors and Scores”
“I would like to ask a question of the Conductors in this discussion group. I am a composer of orchestral music and I have had great difficulty getting my orchestral music performed. I have had a few performances by amateur groups, and the response of both orchestras and audience has been very positive, yet it is still very difficult to get further performances. I realize that amateur and professional groups have different problems and issues to consider. I have tried approaching conductors without much success. I don’t know how to get any further. I have sent pieces off to conductors and asked orchestras, but usually it is difficult to get an answer or even my score back, let alone a chance of a performance. What I want to ask is this:
How should an unknown composer of neo late-Romantic orchestral music approach a conductor to try and get the conductor interested in performing his music? What is the best way to go about this?
I am posting a few pages of the score for my second symphony below, which I would like to get performed….
Thanks for any feedback. I don’t know of this is of any relevance or not but I am in the UK, south west of England.
COMMENT made by Webster Young (founder of this blog and of the Facebook page) :