Every composer has his champions, and I’m always happy to see people leap to a favorite composer’s defense. It gives me a warm feeling inside, actually, even if I don’t much care for the composer’s music myself, because I think, “Someday that could be my music someone like that is defending.” A friend whose tastes otherwise often parallel mine recently admitted that Feldman’s music drove him up a wall, which I find amusing, rather than threatening. I have lived all my life with musicians around me putting down my favorite music. One of my professors told me that Cage was a charlatan and minimalism was bunk. Another met Cage, and said afterward, “I wouldn’t have that man at my house.” My favorite professor got denied tenure for bringing minimalism to class. I’ve listened to famous composers dismiss most of the new music I love as not being music at all. Students at Columbia spat with contempt when I brought them a rare Meredith Monk score. I’ve been told Robert Ashley isn’t a composer. I’ve eaten dinner with composers who regaled each other with Philip Glass jokes, while I took it in polite silence. I have spent my life analyzing and championing music that is despised and marginalized by the classical music world.