Augusta Cecconi-Bates
Email:[email protected]
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 11:39:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Augusta Cecconi-Bates
Subject: "Is classical music dying?"
To: [email protected]
Re: ArtsBUZZ Edition #38, September 30, 2004

This is a quick and unrehearsed reponse to my reading your blog article as posted in the Kingston Arts Council's website.
I, too, am a composer. Over the many years I have found that there are "societies" who form for the sole purpose of airing "new music"--While this is wonderful--many young composers hear their works for the first time in these venues--yet it seems to defeat the purpose. After all, these "societies" are peopled by, attended by and governed by "themselves".

Bravo to any professional organization which will program a new work--usually programming it together with mainstream "oldies but goodies", i, e, Beethoven, Dvorak, etc.

My hat is off the the Kingston Symphony Orchestra,under Glen Fast, who are willing to incorporate several new works during their season. While not every new work may last, at least, we the listeners were introduced to something by a "living" entity, i.e., a composer.

I have in many years faced an even greater challenge that the average composer--
1. I am female
2. I do not teach in the hallowed halls of any university.
3. I have no ready-made performance group (college orchestra, ensemble or vocalists)
4. I have paid many professionals to perform my works in many venues.--U.S>, Canada, Italy, Austria.
5. I was born a long time ago (1933) and taught elementary school music for 30 years--since my generation of women were not expected to become adjuncts to faculties of higher education. (no pun intended here).

6. The struggle is on-going.
7. I have a houseful of compositions ( some 200 for every combination of instruments and voices)--all of which have been performed by professional musicians and have received fine reviews.--and I also have boxes of "rejection slips" from publishers, prize-givers etc.

Without a major performance group to introduce "new" works, we as listeners and souls in limbo would be left to work in a vacuum.

I also pride myself in having garnered praise from many prominent "male" composers, not the least of whom are Lukas Foss and Karel Husa.

My music is not "avant-garde" but rather geared to the ear of a "paying audience". Perhaps that it is not "shocking" it is therefore not considered "new".

And yet I continue to write--My musical narrative MOLLY BRANT has been performed and is scheduled for many performances during this coming season.--the work is for "average audiences".

My website is: