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
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,
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
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
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
My website is: www.cecconibates.homestead.com