Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Modest Mussorgsky

Dr. Bob Prescribes Modest Mussorgsky: Complete Songs

You Know It When You Hear It For 35 years – from 1984 until 2019 – I was part of a composers’ collective called “Composers, Inc.” As originally construed, we were six San Francisco Bay Area composers that banded together to produce concerts of new American music, concert that would – obviously – include our own, under-performed and under-appreciated works as well. Over the years, we staged hundreds of world and West Coast premieres and contributed mightily, or so we all continue to believe, to the American new music scene. Self-congratulations can be unseemly but, in this case, they are deserved. Fairly early in the organization’s life, Composers, Inc. instituted a composition contest, which came to be known as the “Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composition Competition.” Composers from across the United States were invited to submit chamber works to Composers, Inc. An administrator logged the entries and removed any names and identifying marks from the scores and recordings. Those scores and recordings (usually between 300 and 400) were then divided into six groups/batches. Each of the six composers that made up the “Artistic Board” of Composers, Inc. (the photo above) then listened to two batches of music. (This way, every […]

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