Elaine Fine has posted a story about composer invisibility that will will set off pangs of recognition in most of us. It's an odd but common phenomenon that is manifest in a number of ways. I've been to many new music festival events where the performers failed to acknowledge the composer (and they had to have known the composer was there because the composer had coached them prior to the performance), and read numerous stories on new operas where the composer's name was buried in the story if s/he was even mentioned at all.

Art without artists!


  1. Thanks for the link Steve!

  2. Yikes! I do want you to know that in all my years performing as a professional musician (and this is my 32nd year I believe) a composer has never NOT been acknowledged if she/he was at the performance, whether it be opera, symphony, chamber music or a recital. I can't even imagine not doing that. (And I'm in larger groups, so it's not I that get any credit, but the conductor of the group.)

    Of course, in reading Ms. Fine's blog entry, she was writing about DANCE.


    To so many dancers it's all about them and the choreographer and the composer is insignificant. Look at the way they advertise their shows: it's always "X's Nutcracker" or "Y's Romeo and Juliet" or "Z's Dance in the Garden of Hell" (Oh, I made that last one up ... that's what playing most ballet performances feels like to me.) or some such thing and the composer ... heh ... sometimes not mentioned at all. Go figure.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Patty.

    I hope I didn't give the impression that I thought the practice of not acknowledging present composers was the norm. I'm pretty sure it isn't.

    I think not naming (or the naming being an afterthought) the composer of an upcoming stage work is pretty common, though.