Why have you never sought a position at a college or university? Why have you chosen to be an independent artist?

I have been lucky enough to have the kind of musical life I wanted, and so I never felt the need to be attached to an academic institution.


Why do you compose primarily on commission?

Plain and simple: I compose on commission because I require the entire process of commission, creating, performing and communicating, which is the very heart and soul of the classical concert tradition. I have always felt that music can't live unless it is performed.


How can an emerging composer best get his or her music played and heard?

First and foremost, the music and the professional materials, i.e. the score, the parts, and the recording, must simply be impeccable before one approaches a conductor with the idea of performing a work. That said, music has been, and I hope always will be, about personal friendships and trust, and a shared respect for each others’ devotion to music as a way of living life. Often, an emerging composer might believe that music is a career and that there is a career path that one ought to take in order to count oneself as successful. In fact, music is a profession in which many career skills are needed and a life in music, if one is truly honest with oneself, is a texture of multiple careers all happening at the same time. What this means is many treasured professional friendships and a lot of hard work.