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Musicologist Slonimsky was uncle to the composer Slonimsky, or so he said in the course of regaling us with stories about music in the USSR in 1985, at the Cabrillo Music Festival (where I was seated behind Elliott Carter, and at which concert works by Schnittke (Concerto Grosso #1) and and Carter (Double Concerto) were performed, under the direction of Charles Wuorinen of all people -- well, Mr. W. was not a stranger to Carter, but I never thought I'd see him conduct Schnittke... he did a great job, with EIC violinist Maryvonne Le Dizes-Richard as one of the soloists).

Favorite living composers (or composers whose music I always want to hear immediately upon learning they've written a new piece... a sure sign you are passionate about their work):

Pierre Boulez (France)
Gyorgy Kurtag (Hungary)
Valentin Silvestrov (Ukraine)
Pascal Dusapin (France)
Pawel Szymanski (Poland)
 

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I wish some label would record Saariaho's Circle Map. Norgard has written a lot of stuff, but I just can't get into it. Sounds like music for a lifeless planet.

Gubaidulina is no. 1, and the others have died in the past 20 years.
 

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Musicologist Slonimsky was uncle to the composer Slonimsky, or so he said in the course of regaling us with stories about music in the USSR in 1985, at the Cabrillo Music Festival (where I was seated behind Elliott Carter, and at which concert works by Schnittke (Concerto Grosso #1) and and Carter (Double Concerto) were performed, under the direction of Charles Wuorinen of all people -- well, Mr. W. was not a stranger to Carter, but I never thought I'd see him conduct Schnittke... he did a great job, with EIC violinist Maryvonne Le Dizes-Richard as one of the soloists).

Favorite living composers (or composers whose music I always want to hear immediately upon learning they've written a new piece... a sure sign you are passionate about their work):

Pierre Boulez (France)
Gyorgy Kurtag (Hungary)
Valentin Silvestrov (Ukraine)
Pascal Dusapin (France)
Pawel Szymanski (Poland)
Oh yes, Szymanski. Coming to think of it, not just the 2 piano etudes or the piano concerto are fine, also the Partita for Harpsichord and Orchestra is a fascinating work.
 

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Re composers who have died in the past twenty-five years, the mind reels:

Messiaen
Cage
Lutoslawski
Schnittke
Takemitsu
Ligeti
Stockhausen
Nono
Carter
Berio
Xenakis
Grisey
Radulescu
Dutilleux
Gorecki

and others... I don't see new folks rising in equal numbers to match this kind of mass departure of talent, though we won't know that for a while, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Norgard has written a lot of stuff, but I just can't get into it. Sounds like music for a lifeless planet.

Gubaidulina is no. 1, and the others have died in the past 20 years.
Nørgård's music is well regarded, but I think your comment is spot on.

Gubaidulina is probably the greatest living Russian composer.
 

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Re composers who have died in the past twenty-five years, the mind reels:

Messiaen
Cage
Lutoslawski
Schnittke
Takemitsu
Ligeti
Stockhausen
Nono
Carter
Berio
Xenakis
Grisey
Radulescu
Dutilleux
Gorecki

and others... I don't see new folks rising in equal numbers to this kind of mass departure of talent, though we won't know that for a while, I guess.
Similarly for conductors.
 

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While I listen to several living composers, I don't know their music well enough to say which are tops, or even which I enjoy the most.

A few that spring to mind:

Pierre Boulez,
Esa-Pekka Salonen
(yeah, I know. You may think this is only by a technicality.)
Arvo Pärt

ummm . . .

Morton Subotnick?

and maybe --

aha!

Poul Ruders!
 

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I think Nørgård´s music is much too varied for the characterization above.

There´s the early, late-Sibelius-like period (1.Symphony, 1.Clarinet Trio, Solo Intimo for solo cello, 2 accessible piano sonatas), for example.
And there´s the percussion concerto, For A Change, very manifest in its simple vitality. Try the Mortensen recording coupled with Siddharta, on Dacapo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
While I listen to several living composers, I don't know their music well enough to say which are tops, or even which I enjoy the most.

A few that spring to mind:

Pierre Boulez,
Esa-Pekka Salonen
(yeah, I know. You may think this is only by a technicality.)
Arvo Pärt

ummm . . .

Morton Subotnick?

and maybe --

aha!

Poul Ruders!
I think you need hear some György Kurtág's work.
 
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And Slonimsky has been dead for twenty years.

I was at his hundredth birthday party in 1994. What fun that was!

Well, I'd like to play this game, too, but there's no way I would stop at five.

And a big old long list would look like bragging, instead of the sincere appreciation for everyone's unique contribution that it would really be. OK, sincere appreciation and bragging.
I'm at the other end of the learning curve. I'm impressed I felt able to name five.

Go on, pick five.
 
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