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Nico Muhly: A composer's lament

Posted by: Claude Peck under Music, Concert news, Orchestras, People Updated: September 14, 2011 - 10:39 PM

 

While he was in the Twin Cities last week to rehearse the world premiere of his “Luminous Body” with Cantus and the SPCO, composer Nico Muhly found time to write a lengthy post for his blog.

His beef? How tough it is for composers of new work to get their hands on a legal recording of said works. While such performances often are recorded, the Muhlys of the world face roadblocks in obtaining a CD, even just for their personal use and future reference, Muhly said. Musicians’ union regulations are one obstacle, along with fears about music getting out via the Internets.

Muhly called the situation “a complete nightmare.” So he was pleased as punch when the SPCO told him they’d give him a high-quality CD of the performance if he’d sign a waiver that he would not post it online. Muhly’s response: “Wa-hey!”

Meanwhile, Cantus is looking around in hopes of getting another orchestra interested in a live performance of the new work, which Muhly wrote with librettist Craig Lucas. Could a commercial recording be in its future as well?

Photo of Nico Muhly by Samantha West.
 

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