2/11/11 – The Debrief (Austin Jaquith)

On Thursday morning, the scheduled event was a debriefing from the mentor composers where they addressed significant aesthetic issues that each work brought up. In other words, we got to hear what they really thought of our pieces! I found this to be extremely helpful. None of us came to this event to get a patronizing proverbial pat on the back, and we were not disappointed. Each piece brought up issues well worth engaging. Most of the pieces elicited comments regarding form, pacing and aesthetic identity. These are of course some of the most difficult problems to sort out as a composer, and none of us created a piece that was above reproach. I suspect that time and experience will help sort out many of these issues, but we are clearly still a work in progress in that respect.
In conclusion, I can only express praise and gratitude for this event. The opportunity to experience an orchestral reading and performance has been a real inspiration to continue exploring orchestral music. Thanks to the BPO, the ACO, and all the individuals that made this event such a success!

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