Bálint András Varga is perhaps the world's most respected interviewer of living composers. For The Courage of Composers and the Tyranny of Taste: Reflections on New Music, Varga has confrontedthirty-three composers with quotations carefully chosen to elicit their thoughts about an issue that is crucial for any serious creative artist: How can one find courage to deal with the sometimes tyrannical expectations of the outside world?
The result is an imaginary roundtable at which we encounter fresh, revealing, previously unpublished statements from such world-renowned composers as John Adams, Friedrich Cerha, George Crumb, Sofia Gubaïdulina, Georg Friedrich Haas, Giya Kancheli, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Libby Larsen, Robert Morris, and Wolfgang Rihm. Also represented are composers who are becoming more prominent with the passing years -- Chaya Czernowin, Pascal Dusapin, and Rebecca Saunders -- as well as conductor-composer Michael Gielen, festival directorNicholas Kenyon, and music critics Paul Griffiths and Arnold Whittall. In The Courage of Composers and the Tyranny of Taste, composers and other insightful individuals comment on choices made,traps avoided, unforeseen consequences, proud accomplishments, occasional regrets: the whole range of experiences central to artistic creativity.
Bálint András Varga is the acclaimed author of György Kurtág: Three Interviews and Ligeti Homages; Three Questions for 65 Composers; and From Boulanger to Stockhausen: Interviews and a Memoir (all available from University of Rochester Press).