Sad Day

And now I've just learned that the New York singer Kate Sullivan has died - what age I don't know, but younger than me. [Update: turns out she was only 40.] I first became aware of her from her expert, street-smart performance in Mikel Rouse's opera Dennis Cleveland, on the basis of which I engaged her to sing the part of the Mother in my own opera Cinderella's Bad Magic. I had hoped to work with her again when I restage the opera next season. (In fact, I was writing the lead for my next opera with her elegant mezzo in mind.) She was a lovely … [Read more...]

Jonathan Kramer, 1942-2004

I just received the shocking and very saddening news that my old friend, a good composer and a very important theorist, Jonathan Kramer died yesterday of leukemia at the age of only 61. (He's survived by his father.) Jonathan was best known as a sort of postmodern theorist, hired as such at Columbia (in 1989) and for years not really recognized there as a composer as well. He was probably best known for his book The Time of Music, which dealt with goal-directedness versus stasis in our conceptions of musical time; powerfully argued with … [Read more...]

Pullet Surprise – New Horizons in Mediocrity

As detailed by Anthony Tommasini in an article in today's Times, the Pultizer board was appropriately stung by John Adams's criticism of the Pulitzer for music when he won in 2003. "Among musicians that I know," Adams said in a comment much publicized at the time, "the Pulitzer has over the years lost much of the prestige it still carries in other fields like literature and journalism." As Tommasini accurately notes, Anyone perusing the list of winners, he continued, cannot help noticing the absence of most of America's greatest musical minds, … [Read more...]