Are you female identifying or gender non-conforming?

This PR invitation could be just made for you:

Kaufman Music Center’s Luna Composition Lab, founded by Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid, not only mentors and commissions young female-identifying/gender non-conforming composers, but helps them build networks of their own by introducing them to important figures like Julia Wolfe and Jennifer Koh.

Rising young performers from NYC’s top pre-college programs will play their music at the Luna Composition Lab showcase on May 8, which will be live-streamed from Merkin Hall.

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  • What nonsense. One of my students got roped into playing on this program. He complained to me that he had to re-notate his part completely because the notation was so poorly done that it was unreadable. This was a computer notated score, so it wasn’t about handwriting. It was about the fact that the teachers didn’t teach them proper notation, or the teacher doesn’t know proper notation. This is not the top pre-college program in NYC by a long shot.

    • Ah well. Young composers will make rookie mistakes sometimes… because they’re rookies. The smart ones will learn from it, if someone will explain: “this is unreadable,” or “nobody in the real world has time to learn your private notation-language,” or “a violin can’t play double-stops if both notes are lower than D1.” Composition workshops can be a drag for the performers — or not, depending on how they’re run.

      And by the way, re “This is not the top pre-college program in NYC by a long shot:” the post says “Rising young performers from NYC’s top pre-college programs will play their music at the Luna Composition Lab showcase” not that this is itself one of those programs or that the composers necessarily come from those programs. But whatever.

    • In my experience, many professional composers present performers with the kind of material you describe. A whole new generation of computer composers who write from a MIDI keyboard directly onto notation software. The press ‘play’, it sounds cool, so they leave it, regardless of whether it is playable by human hands. And of course, these characters could not care less about the difference between an F sharp and a G flat (e.g. D major scale: D E Gb G A B Db D). It seems craft has become the domain of very few (they do exist! – they are a joy to work with) rather than a professional requirement.

  • I’m not sure what to think about such programs. They can surely help many people, but an equally accurate description is that “if you’re assigned male at birth and still present as male, you cannot apply, regardless of merit”. It’s not anyone’s fault what biology nature assigns them. I suppose that the program will at least help even out the disparity in the historical canon, eventually.

  • Some years ago, a song cycle of mine was very successful when the composer’s name & gender specificality was changed, by the performers, into Joan on a feminine music festival. So, we cannot always be sure about gender presentation at concerts of any kind. So, maybe, Mahler was, in fact, a woman – or maybe Alma wrote all those symphonies. Etc….

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