Tag Archives: chamber ensemble

The Decline of the Orchestra: New Horizons?

I’ve read many articles of late (such as this one) talking about yet another symphony orchestra that is headed for bankruptcy, or is locked in disputes over salary cuts, etc. It is indeed a sad thing to see orchestras in dire shape. The musical world is definitely feeling the economic hit, along with other sectors, and orchestras have long been the “large corporations” of that world.

However, maybe we can also see this as an opportunity. There are many other avenues for musicians to explore outside the realm of large concert halls. What about chamber ensembles? What about pairing with composers, applying for grants to commission new works? Many musicians I know in Boston are able to piece together decent livings through freelancing, playing in various traditional and/or new music ensembles, raising money (through grants, fundraising, etc) for their own creative projects and collaborations, and teaching.

Yes, orchestras play an important role in the preservation of great works, and their disappearance would be a tragedy, as would the disappearance of museums or great past works of literature. But perhaps we should also embrace the reality of a shift in paradigm, and equip ourselves to not only survive, but to thrive within this change of environment.


League of Composers/ISCM Award!

This week I received the exciting news that my piece Self, Analyzed (2010) for flute, bass clarinet, percussion, guitar, and toy piano was the winner of the 2012 League of Composers/ISCM Composers’ Competition! This is a national award, with over a hundred applicants each year, and only one (or sometimes two) annual winner(s), so it’s pretty big news! I’m both honored and humbled to receive this award, especially since it means a New York performance of the work sometime in the 2013-14 or 2014-15 concert season. Seems this piece has become my “ringer” as of late. I guess at some point I’ll have to write something else that measures up (or that again uses toy piano, haha).

Below is a recording of the work, performed by the incomparable East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE) at the Fenway Center in Boston on May 3, 2011:


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