UK composer lands top US college post

UK composer lands top US college post


norman lebrecht

July 03, 2019

Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music has apponted Tansy Davies as associate professor of music in composition, starting next month.

Davies, 46 and from Bristol, is currently associate professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She has been composer-in-residence at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw during the past season.



  • Rob says:

    I don’t rate her compositions at all. Sorry.

  • John Borstlap says:

    I listened to this recording up till 09:01, more was unbearable. After a promising beginning, the work sank into modernist clichee.

    This piece is sonic art, with random gestures borrowed from music thrown-in, plus machine sounds to touch it up to what we are supposed to expect from modernity. ‘What did we see?’ I would say, a quided tour at an industrial plant.

    Students at universities and conservatories are lobotomized into believing modernist ideologies and a bourgeois/narrow-minded version of modernity. Why? For music audiences? For musical institutions? For classical music performers? No, for the upkeep of modernism. There is nothing wrong with this stuff in itself, but its claims are ridiculous and primitive. It is about time educational institutions begin to realize the damage they allow to be done to young, aspirational minds. Incredible how many people ar still taken-in by this conventional kitsch…. and a vision of modernity which stems from half a century ago.

    • Lore says:

      Where would we be without John Borstlap!!I disagree with everything you write.Ever.But love your passionate polemic.

      • John Borstlap says:

        What irritates me like this prom piece is the dull repetition of thin aesthetics that were exhausted half a century ago but are repeatedly presented as ‘new’. Because the old products were immediately forgotten, their warmed-up progeny seem to be new for people suffering from this cultural amnesia.

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      It’s time to pin a Borstlap anti-modernism rant to the top of the splash page for easy reference. A link to it could be included in any post about contemporary composers. That would be a useful companion to a similarly pinned and linked anti-affirmative rant (not Borstlap-penned, unfortunately) for posts about opportunities for woman and minorities.

  • Monte says:

    Wonderful news!

  • Furzwängler says:

    What a truly horrible and uninspired piece of musac.

    • John Borstlap says:

      But the beginning is nice, and very promising. The listener leans back in his chair, stoking the dormant fires of hope that something really wonderful may appear, and that he won’t regret (again) buying the prom ticket in spite of knowing that a contemporary piece would be part of the program, and while he recklessly opens his ears and heart, gradually the numb awareness of disappointment raises its ugly head, and the randomness of disconnected ‘speech’ begins to vindicate the terrible thought he had so forcefully suppressed earlier, resounding in his bitter soul: ‘I told you so!’.

  • Sara E. says:

    Wow. what a “talent” to the us. (AKA: the garbage collector of the world).

    • John Borstlap says:

      Curiously, a recent report stated that the US were the greatest producer of garbage and the least effective in recycling.