Michael Hersch

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Michael Hersch

I wrote much more quickly when I was younger. Over the years I've required more time in order for the pieces to arrive in a place I am happy with. The process cannot be rushed. I have to live with a piece for quite a while to feel it ultimately is where it needs to be - though anything resembling complete satisfaction remains elusive.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I was fortunate to work with Corigliano for a few years in the mid nineties. Meeting and working with him during those formative years was an important experience.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The work of Liszt I most admire is the music he wrote toward the end of his life. This is often music of tremendous inventiveness. The music seems to be seeking something. It tends to be restless, unpredictable, often very sad.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
As a young composer I had a particular fondness for Liszt's Beethoven Symphony arrangements for the piano, and to this day I enjoy playing non-piano music at the piano.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I enjoy the challenge of taking something which was not meant for the piano, distilling its essence and writing or improvising it for/at the piano, but having the listener forget that he or she is listening to a piano.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
A lot of my approach to the instrument, especially as I've gotten older, is to treat the piano in ways that are not very pianistic - to consider the sounds I'm after first, and to deal with technical considerations later. Liszt taught me a lot in this respect.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Just as all pop music is not simplistic, not all contemporary concert music is complex. Often what a person connects with goes much deeper than generalized issues of simplicity and complexity.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I think the tendency to paint composers or styles of music with too broad a brush - for example, identifying composers as writers of "simple" or "complex" music - has become increasingly problematic and is almost never productive.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Part of what makes music so interesting is the lack of consensus on just about any given topic.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If somebody responds positively to what I'm doing - if there is a connection - that can be very meaningful. If someone reacts with displeasure, confusion, hostility, well, that is not pleasant, and can often be upsetting.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
My own goals center around writing the best music that I can, and only I can determine whether or not I've succeeded in accomplishing that.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I write because the act of writing itself is what drives me. It's a private communication within myself - nothing more or less. This doesn't mean I do not want to share with people.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
There are times I'm completely uncomfortable with my works being performed publicly, and I haven't attended certain concerts because the prospect is akin to having a diary read on stage. But there are also situations - whether with an audience of one, or many - where the concert experience can be deeply special, and those experiences are often unpredictable, and wonderful when they occur.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I don't think performance out of duty yields very much. Coercion is never the way to go.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If people want insights, if they want to swim in the currents of their own time and share the experiences of their time, then it makes sense to engage with the artists of one's own time.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
While I believe there is certainly a phenomenon of timelessness in art, the people writing today are of course uniquely qualified to comment on their own time.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I do believe young people should be obligated to try different types of music - that is what education is. But once you're in a situation as an adult, it doesn't benefit anybody - at least in my experience - to force music on people that they don't like or do not have an interest in - whether it's three-hundred years old or newly written.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The best results come when people believe in and feel strongly about the music they are playing. Just as composers write for certain types of performers, performers are also looking for certain things.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The proliferation of new music groups and individual performers focusing on new music today is heartening. On the one hand the culture is very resistant to new things, and yet it continues to change and grow.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
George Rochberg once said that 'to be a composer, you need to have fire in the belly, fire in the brain, but most importantly, an iron stomach.' I feel this is for the most part true, and hope I might convey something of it to younger composers.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The musical culture in the United States has no doubt suffered severe setbacks, especially in funding, since the early 2000's. However, I've been amazed at the resiliency of those involved with contemporary music in this country. I think composers and those dedicated to contemporary music have reacted with tremendous creativity and resourcefulness.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The American new music scene is remarkably vibrant.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I don't think the role of the critic has changed very much. In the most positive sense, the music critic is one who helps the public navigate what's out there, especially in bringing attention to things they otherwise wouldn't hear about, or to provide a new window into something familiar.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
A critic can serve as guide. I think there's an understanding amongst the public that critics have their own preferences and dislikes.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The best critics leave the reader curious to pursue something further, but still to let the reader have his or her own honest, unique opinion.More Michael Hersch [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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