If you don't get feedback from your performers and your audience, you're going to be working in a vacuum.
I'm obviously very keen on the theater and I think it's inevitable that some of the orchestral and chamber pieces have got dramatic elements which might even suggest an unspecified dramatic plot of some kind or other, even though it's not in my mind at the time.
You can't pander to your audience. You might in the short term, but ultimately you can't hoodwink them, either.
The present government is very insistent that business sponsorship should replace government sponsorship of the arts. Business sponsorship won't happen unless you make tax concessions, which they won't.
The establishment in Britain is certainly against the arts and against education. If something doesn't make a profit, it's invalid, and art doesn't make a profit in that sense.
Recently I've been participating in radio and television talk programs doing broadcasts and conferences, and shooting my mouth off and really going to town.
If you aim at anything lower that is expecting your audience to be really alert and aware, then you're going to be caught out sooner or later as a composer.
I'm very interested, for instance, in music in education - getting young people not only to listen to, but participate in the music that I write. I consider this one of the most vital aspects of my work.
An audience shouldn't listen with complacency.
I recently did a piece for the Boston Pops and John Williams, and I hope that it's as well a composed piece as I've ever done for any other medium or occasion.
I know what I want at least, and the older I get I think I'm better at getting it out of players and singers.
At the moment, in Britain we're facing such enormous cutbacks in education programs and music programs and art programs that you feel you are knocking your head against a brick wall.
I'm not actually teaching any more, but I am writing pieces for schools all the time, and for kids.
There’s no card, business card, better than a compact disc for a composer. It doesn’t half impress people and they get a long way on it ... these composers they will get more performances, more commissions, more recognition just by having that disc
You don't underestimate either players or audience in any circumstances.
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