Mannes ‘forces students to play Cage and Cowell’main
We’ve received a long, rambling complaint from Mannes students on restrictions as to what they can play in recitals and when.
Aside from the usual whinges, the peculiar bit is this: “As part of the Centennial celebration, ‘over the course of the 2019/2020 academic school year, all chamber groups and chamber performance classes will carry a centennial theme” (email from Mannes Deans on April, 24). Therefore, Mannes students this academic year are not allowed to perform or work on chamber music from the canon, but instead will have to find pieces written by composers associated with the New School, such as John Cage and Henry Cowell. With all due respect, everyone understands the limitations such a repertoire imposes on students, potentially stifling students’ creativity and musical growth. Furthermore, great experimental composers such as Cage and Cowell, wrote very little of what can be called “chamber music.”
Can anyone explain?