I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Living Composers

One of my pet peeves about the classical music world:
Under its last director, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra basically ignored one of its most valuable and singular resources: the music of New Jersey. While there were premieres under music director Neeme Jarvi's stewardship, these tended to be drawn from his personal library, with few Americans, let alone locals, making an appearance.... 
Happily, all that has changed. The new maestro, Canadian Jacques Lacombe, mentioned in his first interviews following his appointment that he wanted to explore the music of New Jersey composers. He mentioned specifically "the Princeton school" and the music of living composers along with scores of deceased composers of historic importance, like George Antheil. "One of the things I was struck by was how many talents come from here," he said at the time. "It's a very rich and impressive community."
EVERY community has composers, and it's always bothered me how few music directors care to explore the music of their own area.

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