One less saxophone concerto to hunt down …

Full disclosure: Caroline Shaw has played my music, so I make no claim to objectivity here.
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The day after Paul Moravec won the Pulitzer prize, John Adams started shooting from the hip about the Pulitzer going to “academic composers.” I was annoyed. But I figured, “Okay, he’s being a jerk, but Paul is an established composer writing quality material: He doesn’t need Adams’s permission to be successful.”

Recently, however, Adams has been sniping at younger composers. Yesterday in the NY Times, he took a thinly veiled swipe at Caroline. I know that she doesn’t really need JCA’s permission to be successful either. However, it really ticks me off that Adams is willing to burn the bridge behind him.

So let’s break the cycle of composers eating their young. Emerging and just-emerged composers: remember to pay it forward and to not get crotchety before your time.

One Comment

  1. Haven’t read the Adams comment, so mine could be off base. We know the Pulitzer Prize is academic. A special award was infamously denied to Duke Ellington. Americans who have shaped the world’s music – Bill Monroe, James Brown, Miles Davis – never had a prayer of being acknowledged by that august body. And many of the Pulitzer winning compositions were quickly forgotten. But if John Adams (and I love some of his music) is claiming a spot with the progressive popular music greats, I have to disagree. He’s on the academic side of the fence, and shouldn’t be trashing the young composers following the path he took.

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