The past few days of rehearsals have been incredible. Hearing seven pieces come together in three days, we've all been amazed by the dedication and virtuosity of the Minnesota Orchestra. We're a very lucky group of composers! We're also learning from each other in these rehearsals. We each have copies of all seven pieces to look at. Observing rehearsals and studying the scores of my fellow composers has really helped me generate ideas for the piece I'm writing next.
Last night we had a reception with supporters of the orchestra, staff, administrators, and friends from the American Composers Forum and New Music USA. This was a great way to get to know some of the folks who fuel the Composer Institute and have believed in it since the beginning. Maestro Vänskä, President Kevin Smith, and Composer Institute Director Kevin Puts spoke about the program, and the seven of us each gave a short talk about ourselves and our music. Even after hearing my fellow composers' music all week and getting to know them, I learned even more about everyone hearing them speak.
For those reading who don't know me personally, I place a lot of importance on language and words (which is why it's fun to be the blogger for the institute!) and I think it's essential for composers to be able to speak and write about their work. I have to say, I was proud of us last night. Public speaking isn't easy, but I thought we all expressed ourselves articulately and sincerely, giving our audience a more detailed view of where we come from and what inspires our music.
After the speeches, we took some audience questions, and my personal favorite was the question about our musical influences. Anthony Vine talked about being inspired not just by composers from the past and present, but by visual artists as well. The dialogue that can exist among artistic mediums is something I find really fascinating, so I'm glad Anthony brought it up.
The concert is tonight at 8pm! Fred Child from Performance Today will be introducing all of us onstage, and if you can't be at the concert in person, it will be livestreamed at classicalmpr.org. Check back next week for a final post from me, reflecting on the whole experience of the composer institute.