Same old faces on composer awards

South Korea’s Isang Yun International Composition Award, defunct for several years, has roared back with a $30,000 prize.

It will be shared between Heinz Holliger and Kaija Saariaho.

Will that change anyone’s life?


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  • Yes, it will vindicate the board members’ idea that they are arbiters of taste in the field of contemporary music. It enhances their feeling of self-importance. It’s a bit like the fisherman boasting about his catch: actually he is talking about himself.

  • On full display in the Music and Art worlds: mediocrity in many forms. As my brother Glenn has said, who would have thought the art world would become more banal than the part-time day jobs of our youth.

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