Faux pas-ing my way into history

A former student reports meeting a young Southern belle in North Carolina, mentioning John Cage to her, and having her respond, “Oh, didn’t he write some kind of opera about Sitting Bull?”  I’m going to speculate she was a student at Lenoir-Rhyne College when I performed Custer down there about eight years ago. Of course, what’s important about a name is how many letters it has, so, John Cage, Kyle Gann, Carl Orff, Arvo Pärt, Alex Ross, whatever. I wrote The Planets so people would mistakenly buy my CD thinking it was Holst, but I’m equally flattered to be confused with Cage. (But Senator – I knew John Cage, and I’m no John Cage.)


  1. Ken Fasano says

    Ha! And I dated a young lady (once!), who, when I said I liked modern music, told me how she hated that awful avant-gardist, Samuel Barber…
    KG replies: I know just how she feels…

  2. John says

    Kyle, if it makes you feel any better, I was conducting one of your pieces yesterday at a notable conservatory, and none of the students had ever heard of you.
    KG replies: Yeah, that feels better.