What goes through your mind when you hear a new piece of yours premiered?

October 1st, 2008 Uncategorized

Another question commonly asked. I’ve been blessed with the privilege of having some of the finest ensembles in the world present my music, and of having many other equally dedicated and amazingly skilled musicians (some still in the students years) perform it as well. No matter who it is, and no matter how much preparation and detail work has been done, there’s always an element of risk in a first performance that makes it special and can often give it an exciting edge. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in the preparation of most of my premieres, so that increases the sense of security for both the performers and myself. Much of the anticipation or Erwartung is in the fact that you’re witnessing the birth of something that didn’t exist before, its complete form made aural reality for the first time ever by the artists on stage. Even when I haven’t been able to attend rehearsals for a premiere, things have generally worked out well. Many questions can be dealt with via email, fax or phone, and if your notation is clear and accurately reflects what you intend, it can be incredibly reliable in ensuring a good result, especially if you’re dealing with a superbly trained musician. I can’t say that I’ve ever had to sustain a genuinely disappointing or disastrous premiere.