More cash for composers

More cash for composers


norman lebrecht

February 22, 2018

Christmas comes in February for the composing profession.

Yesterday it was half a million bucks for Kaija Saariaho.

Today it’s $40,000 apiece from the Siemens Foundation for Clara Iannotta (Italy), Timothy McCormack (USA) and the Catalan Oriol Saladrigues.



  • John Borstlap says:

    It is to be hoped that family members of these people, and friends and neighbours, will somehow benefit from the money, because really, money is the only redeeming feature of this stuff that harks back to the most conventional, empty aesthetics of half a century ago:

    Going-back in history seems to be a good idea given the cultural climate of our times, but why going-back to the primitive and macabre? There have been so many different options in the past that could be emulated and which offer so many possibilities of renewal. There is nothing wrong with derivative works, but there should be something of musical value in them and a personal touch.

    • James says:

      I spy Borstlapian jealousy, no?

      • REGERFAN says:

        I would like to see Mr. Borstlap get a commission for an opera. Perhaps “The Sonic Artists of Darmstadt” or something like that.

        • GAB says:

          Great idea. Those guys sure fit into the heroic cycle. Schoenberg as the messianic savior of twentieth century music (serialism) just like J.S.Bach was the big mover for well tempered diatonicism. Much drama here looking for a good librettist, then of course an even better composer since he or she would need at their command every style of composition to convey this unique evolution of musical thought. And like all good operas, it’s a tragedy, obviously.

        • John Borstlap says:

          These things are not as easy as they may seem. He has no business sense and turning down commissions because he doesn’t like the plot, or the company, or the director (or his wife), or wants more singers, or other singers, or doesn’t want to quarrel again with the brass like last time, etc. etc. Always a fly in the soup! Last year I had to send back 4 proposals! one of them even coming from the [redacted] opera house where mr [redacted] came here incognito, with dark glasses and a false beard, nobody was to know, and offered the impressive fee of [redacted] pounds, and you know what? It was ‘too far’ to travel to and five years weren’t enough to write the thing. And that while a corner of the façade here is crumbling a bit, the upkeep of such monumental building is a constant worry, and part of my job is looking after it! So, things often get on my nerves. But then I only get such silly answers like ‘Who’s interested in the façade? We’re living inside’…. can you believe it??!


  • boringfileclerk says:

    What? No Transgendered composers?