Speaker Well, I moved to New York in my early 20s. I'm from Florida and I was working here as a professional violinist and as a teacher in a small college. And I. Had been my whole life, I've been doing a number of things musically and composing was really getting more and more to the center of things. And I decided I just would sort of like stop almost everything else and see what I could do if I really focused on composing. And and I went to the best place I could think of, which was Juilliard. And of course, at that time, they the composition department was really quite remarkable. For one thing, it didn't have a compositional point of view. You had people from that's a person ketti to my teachers, Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter, each of whom represented extremely different point of view. And I liked that because I think in the arts there's too much teaching of taste and not enough of just sheer sort of technique. And the whole issue for creative artists is finding your own voice. So that's what made me seek out Juilliard.

Speaker Just to go back a little, because I know you were studying violin with with Guillermin, who were we were just talking about what it's like. And I'm wondering, you know, first of all, is it as a female student? I mean, we've heard, you know, there's lots of this sort of Colombian teaching methods. I mean, what what was he what was he like as a person and what was he like just to study with and how how how far along are you going? Were you thinking about being a concert violinist?

Speaker No, I just I wanted to play the violin better.

Speaker And I thought that the Guillermin school had done such a good analysis of how one practices and how, you know, one, acquire certain techniques on the violin, that that's what really attracted me. But I was already very musically developed at that point. So I really that to me was something that I went to for a technical.

Speaker Expertise and what was Galardi and like himself as a teacher? Eyes.

Speaker Do you really want to talk about this, because, I mean, I didn't study with him at Juilliard and I worked mainly with one of his assistants.

Speaker It's sort of a past. Yeah, OK.

Speaker No, that's OK.

Speaker It's we've been bringing to trying to bring some of the students, some of the faculty, these sort of faculty members to talk to life for people that are some sort of law and not that many people that we we've met have actually studied with them. But it doesn't it's not relevant to what you end up doing.

Speaker But I think it's interesting that, you know, in coming into as a woman, coming into the composition department must have been at that time, you know, fairly a fairly interesting. Position for you? What? I mean, it was if you mean it's unique. Really? You know, I sort of think my look back into the Weena women composers. And then you came very, very strongly. And that's looking at, you know, what it versus looking into who had graduated from Juilliard. Was that. You. What was it like when you first got there?

Speaker Well, I've I've had perhaps an unusual life and that I went to a high school where the musical auditions for the band and the orchestra were done behind a screen anonymously, which meant that some of the first chair positions were held by girls and some were held by boys. And I was both concertmaster of my high school orchestra and first trumpet in the band by virtue of, you know, behind the screen auditions. Then when I came to New York, Tarkowski had the American Symphony Orchestra, which was at that time quite unusual in that it was about, I would say, up to half women. It was also unusual in that was the number of Asians and African-Americans. It was. It was really quite an open situation. So before I went to Juilliard, I was playing the American Symphony in New York. And I don't know, I just sort of I didn't notice that I was the first woman to get a doctorate from Juilliard until I got my degree. And and a couple of people said, you know, you must be the first woman. And it turned out that I was the first woman. And I think Time magazine picked up on that. And I we all looked it up. And sure enough. But I think when you when you make music, there's something so out there about it that that it's possible to, you know, dislike somebody and love their music or love the person and dislike their music. It's possible to make that focus on the music itself. And that's what I've always done in my life. And I know sometimes, you know, people have said things over the years about, you know, if it's so powerful, how could it be written by a woman sort of thing? And I just I don't know. I think if you don't have a sense of humor in this world, you're not going to last too long. But I had a wonderful time at Juilliard and I really I was I was very I was treated well by the faculty. I did well in the classes. And I enjoy the relationships I made with performers at the school and was.

Speaker To me, sort of like unremarkable, which is the way it ought to be.

Speaker When you say unremarkable, it was just so much of it in sort of your your daily life, your friends. But it was. But for a lot of people, it was coming together. And it's such a kind of a focused attention. It is yet focused with other people that are also focusing at that level. And it's kind of a big treat because in some ways you you've been a little bit of an odd man out because not everybody, you know, in your local high school is going to be that disciplined or that focused or that intense about one thing, whether it's music or dance or now drama, you know. Did you find the.

Speaker A camaraderie when you got to Juilliard in a way of working that really worked for you. And what was that?

Speaker Well, you what you said reminded me of how I felt all my life, is that I've always wanted to be the littlest fish in in a big pond rather than the biggest fish. And as I have grown, when I became the biggest fish in the small pond, I. I wanted to be the littlest fish in the next one. And I've I've enjoyed that my whole life. And I think it's it's wonderful. There's something in the air in a place where everybody's has a sort of devotion to what they're doing. And it's like it's more like a calling than an occupation. It's certainly not reasonable. I mean, the people who said to me, what are you doing? You know, to study composition. They were right. I mean, it's it's a it's a shot in the dark. You know, it's it's. There's much more opportunity for failure than for success. But when you're driven to do something and you're around other people that are driven to do something, there's something very comforting about that.

Speaker And, you know, everybody's sort of taking a shot. And maybe you don't think about the fact that, you know, 10 percent are going to make it. But there's something kind of nice about I always figured if if I hadn't done well as a composer, if I'd fallen on my face, then I would have stepped back and done something else. But not trying. And I think that's there are more people frustrated by not trying something that they long for than there are people who try and fail. I mean, that's that's not such a tragedy to try and fail to not try. To me is the tragedy and to be around a whole school full of people, all of whom are trying is is it's it does. Sure. You up in a very nice sort of way.

Speaker In the composition department, in the time that you were there and the people that you were working with, that's a pretty amazing, you know, sort of golden time in that school. I mean, those were I mean, it was funny. There was someone that was saying to me on the day that they go into the coffee shop across the street, it was a crêpe place or something.

Speaker There was, you know.

Speaker Carter's, and it was maybe it was Carter's birthday, and there they came in sessions on what other end of the coffee shop. And they came in with Carter Sessions and joined them. And then it was like and he said, really in a funny way, it was like being in, you know, Bach, Mozart and Shop had a coffee shop of that time. Yeah, very.

Speaker Can you talk a little bit about who was teaching there in composition, about who you were working with and about the sort of incredible significance that they have in in like the sort of American musical landscape?

Speaker Well, when I was at Juilliard, Vincent Percy Kerry was the head of the department.

Speaker Elliott Carter was there. David Diamond and Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions.

Speaker And it really is kind of a pantheon of American composition and not just, you know, the glittering stars of one kind of music, but but quite a range of ideas about how music might be written. Among those those five faculty members. And, of course, we had a composers forum weekly, which was. Was very interesting. Not only our own faculty, but people who were visiting came in. And that was that was quite eye opening also. Roger Sessions was the teacher that I spent the most time with. And he was one of the most important people in my life. And while I was working with him, I sort of felt like I came into my own. I have discovered my own voice and sort of who I was. He was not anyone who wanted disciples, you know, so I needed to write like he did or did to adopt exactly his points of view. And it's very interesting that if you look at the subsequent history of American composition sessions, pupils are really quite visible today. Have he taught perhaps for generations of people, many of whom have come to the fore? And he was a very gentle, philosophical, kind of quiet man who.

Speaker Was a wonderful support as a teacher.

Speaker Elliott Carter is someone who I worked with for a short period of time.

Speaker But it was very intense and he and I are still friends and we spent an afternoon together last week and he's. He is a very interesting composer, coming to music from a quite different angle from from Roger Sessions. I brought to the mix the fact that I was while I was getting my doctorate at Juilliard, I was still performing. I was playing the American Symphony and stage band at the Met and things like that. So I came at it from a different angle altogether. And I thought of Juilliard is like this amazing smorgasbord of a resource.

Speaker And this one had this advantage and that one had that. And there was just a lot there to.

Speaker To absorb. And what do you think it is about? About Juilliard or the Juilliard history?

Speaker What is it that brought all of these incredible people there? I mean, how what? I mean, it's interesting, the incredible level of the faculty that they chose to be a part of this.

Speaker I mean, is it simply that the reputation just builds and builds and then. The students were the best. You know, they're they're getting incredible students or what do you think sort of accounts for these sort of.

Speaker That's a very interesting question. I I haven't thought about this before, but I do feel, as I often say about my own work at that time when the orchestra walks out on the stage and they play the first performance of my piece. That's kind of like the tip of the iceberg, that beneath that, there's a tremendous amount of work that goes on to make it all happen. And I would say Juilliard has probably been blessed with some pretty light, enlightened administration, because I know early on, for instance, when Bill Schumann was president and of course, I came later. But then he and I became friends. I think that's when the Juilliard Quartet was established. And that was that was something very innovative and special. And interestingly enough, that it became associated with not just the standard repertoire, but with contemporary repertoire. I think they were the first quartet to do all the Bartok string quartets, for instance. And I think that that actually I think composers usually do make pretty good administrators. It's probably a habit of dealing with so many, many factors. And everything is like a mosaic you're kind of putting together. But then Peter met and was there for for many years. He was there when I was there. And these people had some, you know, pretty innovative ideas and followed through on them and were able to raise the enormous amounts of money that it must take to to run a place like Juilliard.

Speaker And I think, Joe, police, he has gone another step further with the whole notion that you have a now, particularly with the having the different schools involved, that you have much more of a student community than you had before with the whole idea of having a dorm and focus on on student life in a way that wasn't done before it was more informal has in the Juilliard cafeteria or some little restaurant in the neighborhood where the composers went or various performers went.

Speaker What was your experience of men? I mean, you know, philosophically, I feel like I'm I'm much more understanding of Schumann in the whole VLA than programming a lot. I mean, a lot of things that began in that era that are quite, believe me. Of course, Joseph is writing a book now and on Schumann.

Speaker But I mean, you were there during the men period. What was his what was his presence like? What was as a student, you know, philosophically, did you have a sense of where he was that you talked about him doing some interesting things?

Speaker Well, you mentioned before the diversity of the composition faculty and not just the diversity, but the quality.

Speaker And here was a composer who went purposely out, I believe, to make the composition faculty more reflective of all of the possibilities that were in the contemporary scene at that time, rather than, as I said before, having a compositional point of view. His music wasn't anything like the star composition, faculties, music. And that's that's an interesting point, because often people who don't do something are much more strict about what other people ought to be doing, whereas people who actually do it themselves enjoy the idea that you have different points of view and you have different ways of doing whatever it is. And I think it's it was, from my point of view, the main contribution of Peter Menin was to develop that that broader composition department where you really could have contact with practically the whole range of of American music. That time.

Speaker And in talking about American music, and I've read a lot about people, some people have talked about this kind of effort that went on through the middle of the last century to make Juilliard a part of this development of the American voice in music. Because, you know, the initial musical art was very European based. It was really harking back to a much more of damrosch, you know, very German and very German roots. And he was he was looking back. I mean, if you if you can if you thought about it at all. Talk about, you know, the early European influences and and the sense of trying to give an American voice to music. And mostly, I think, in the form of composition is what we're talking about. It's not really like play the violin more like an American or, you know.

Speaker Well, I've I have a feeling that I mean, if you looked at the history of the school, which I don't really know all that well, but I'm sure that at the early stages it was like a transported European institution. And you look today and today, you you have as when I was there, you had students from all around the world who sought to come here, not because it had an American point of view, but because it had the best of this or that. I don't know that that the particular American focus was the idea. However, as Americans, one of the things that we've absorbed is this kind of I mean, Democratic is probably the wrong word, but kind of a democratic notion that you and I might disagree that we can still be in the same family, so to speak.

Speaker And there are still places in the world where an institution will take a hold of a. Anti-Democratic point of view. This is the way you do this. And there is no other possibility. That is kind of foreign to the American psyche. And if I said I think the fact that the humanity might men and work with creative musicians, it sort of lends itself to the notion that instead of let's find out the only way to do it and keep that would open the door and let's try this and that and let's let the students see the range of things as opposed to being schooled in doing it this way or that way.

Speaker I mean, there's still plenty of room for rebellion, as we all do. You know, I mean but I think that that, incidentally, leads to a kind of an opening up of things to Americans who who basically feel that way and think that way.

Speaker Yeah, I mean, it seems that there was an attempt in a way to sort of identify and make Juilliard an American conservatory. And a lot of, you know, I mean, the composers were certainly, you know, powerful American composers.

Speaker So I'm thinking that that Luciano Berio was there for a short period of time when when I was there. And of course, he brought a different sensibility. And the guests that came in were, you know, from all over the place. So I'm not so sure that that's anything other than kind of incidental, that American issue that that. I believe the 21st century is is going to look more like our country than hopefully than than many other parts of the world. And the notion that there are different ways to do something and that. Each person brings something special to the table. It's probably an American point of view, but it's very persuasive. I think in the arts and I think it's perhaps why I think that as we began a new century or in the old one, depending on how you count. I think we're at a time when when you've you've had quite a number of American composers emerge more or less at the top of the heap. And I think it has a lot to do with this sort of openness and flexibility in point of view. There's something else. That wasn't a part of the Juilliard curriculum and that I and many of my colleagues around my age also had serious, significant experience with jazz and that that that sort of figures into the mix as well.

Speaker Well, in the times that you were there, there were certainly a lot of jazz going on in New York. You know, people. We had a great talk with William Buckley on it. He taught the trumpet.

Speaker Yes, I know. Famous. We love him.

Speaker He's very old. At one point, he was talking about teaching Miles Davis and other people about jazz, although, you know, I never had to do that. He never had to do it.

Speaker He was playing legitimate music with the world's biggest mouthpiece. But what I mean is not so much as spectators, but we grew up playing it as well as other things. I grew up playing Brahms and Bartok and, you know, Duke Ellington. I was like, you know, it's like a normal sort of American thing. And I think that's something, again, you know, set out to do this necessarily. It's just a part of our equipment. And I think a lot of the people that I was in school with at Juilliard probably also had other things in their background other than the so-called classical tradition and the European tradition, although it meant enough to me to study the violin. And it still does. I love this music, but there's something there's like an openness and flexibility and in certain ways are too long to go into, particularly here. But there are things that come to us out of other traditions, not just the European tradition.

Speaker It's something I've known as being spending a lot of time at the school. And I I've met composers, but also musicians. There's there's a there's a kind of a. There's a very isolating part of this.

Speaker It's very it's a it's a loneliness maybe that you seek out because you're not alone. You're with your music. And that that for people is a relationship that is a deeply meaningful for relationship. Maybe the most important in your life. But did you find in a way, this? I mean, what was this process of becoming a composer, of working with yourself, of even drawing from them? I mean, is it really a sense of are you really on your own journey and in a sense having feedback from these from these incredible mentors or teachers? Because it seems a lot, and especially in the music division was so in dance and drama.

Speaker But everyone is really in the music division on their own little path, coming out on their own there in their little room at some point or another, and often not that often coming out of that little room. I mean, it's an isolating.

Speaker Well, the experience of being a composer and I have now been a full time composer basically since I left Juilliard, which is quite a few years now. I liken it to the experience of being shot out of a cannon. You know, like you you spent a lot of time in your little room all by yourself. And then all of a sudden you you you go to a new town and you meet one hundred and six new symphony musicians. You have a new conductor to deal with you. You meet the audience. You know, you're suddenly thrown into this incredibly social situation that you have to have. I think you have to have some pleasure in doing that, too. Otherwise, you know, it would be very hard. And it takes a range of things. And your your own personality. It's it's I find when I deal with performers and in particular, first performances are extremely emotional experiences. And yet this feeds me so much and it sends me back to the to the quiet little room with all kinds of new things. But I think you'll find also that most musicians that that really do well are not just like one dimensional people. I mean, we don't just sit in our little rooms and and make music and practice or write or whatever it is. We're people, too. We have other interests. We have lives. We have. When I was at Juilliard, I was swimming six days a week at least. But I enjoy swimming very much. I enjoy photography. In fact, I took some. I went through a black and white phase and I took some pictures of Roger Sessions, one of which appeared on a book about him and took pictures of Elliott Carter, among many other people. And I mean, we you know, we're people and we like to do lots of other things. And I like to dance. You know, I mean, it's it's fun to go out in the evening and dance. You know, people sometimes think of it as like you have blinders on to the rest of the world. And I think if you talk to the the the best people in any field, if you don't find that too often, you much more find people who read and, you know, enjoy life and have fun and think seriously and exercise. And I mean, it's, you know, enjoy good food. Very. Everybody would say that. Well, there's there's sort of the red shoes myth, you know, that you have to choose between art and life and you can't have both. And I sort of feel you can't have one without the other. For me, life would be just unimaginable without having music very much at the center of it. On the other hand, I can't imagine music without having a full life. And I think that there are just lots of myths about, you know, how do I get so much as a composer? First of all, I don't look like a composer because I'm female. And you're supposed to look like Beethoven or, you know, their list or whatever. I think that's just so false because I think the real artist has a great appreciation for life because art is a part of it, you know, and and life is full of many things. It's full of human relationships and feelings that you have. And like I say, for me, I like to dance. I, I love to swim. I like to I like boating. I'm from Miami after I waterski. And I think if you lived your life without doing other things, it it has a it has a negative effect on your art. Actually, the notion of the you know, the the ill maladjusted composer, I mean, is this is kind of like the, you know, sort of the mad scientist and and most of the camp, the composers that I know that I respect, they're not ill. They're usually in pretty good shape. They're not mad. They might be except Reagan in a few ways. But they're they're perfectly well put together. They have they have lovers. They have wives, they have husbands. They have families. They have they know the best restaurants in town. And, you know, they mean like they're real, real people. And I think this is something that. Flies in the face of this sort of Hollywood mythology of the wild and and disturbed artist who can only, you know, has to choose between art and life.

Speaker And I think that's that's a that's a very false choice. I want to both.

Speaker Well, you know, there's also something that that we've talked about and about Amy and I, but we've found actually we've talked to some people who had educations at Juilliard and gone on to other things that there's there is a lot to be said for the many things that can go onto Juilliard that, as you say, 10 percent aren't going to make it. But in your mind, if you think about those people who maybe know some of those people now, what are some of the tools that you're getting in this kind of. You know, is that really going to apply all over the place? Two ways to live your life?

Speaker Yes, that's a very interesting point, because I think that, for instance, lots of emphasis is given to sports at the at the collegiate age. And yet, if you're a football player or a basketball player and you don't go to the NFL or the NBA you have there, it doesn't really give you much to fall back on. Whereas if you've studied music or the arts or things that require the kind of discipline that you have in music and dance, for instance, and where you the things you learn, apply to just about everything you can think of in life. And and the skills of focusing and being disciplined lead you in many different directions. I think probably half the doctors in New York studied music seriously, and it did it it helps them to get into medical school. You know, it it it gave them certain habits of life. Not only that, it gives you something, an appreciation for something that stays with you your whole life. I think you'll find many more people who study music seriously as senior citizens still playing and, you know, enjoying music. Then you'll find people who studied athletics, which takes it at least as much time. You don't necessarily find them out. Playing shooting hoops in their backyard often is a matter of fact, the use.

Speaker It's usually almost the opposite for people who've focused on athletics as young people, you find them to be out of shape, whereas people who.

Speaker That's not true. I can say that. That's not true. I just know a couple of people that, you know, that did high school and college sports and then sort of like stopped doing it.

Speaker But I meet people that all the time that I went to high school with who are still, you know, very active in music in some way, even though they've gone on to other professions. And it's it's been an enrichment to their lives.

Speaker And what do you think goes on in this crazy world of maybe luck and talent and ambition? I mean, that creates this odd mix where you can't keep going, where you walk out of Juilliard. As a composing, you know, graduate and composed every day since. And for somebody else, they. David Valette, very talented. Maybe not maybe, but it's it really seems like this sort of odd.

Speaker Combination of I don't know what the word gets people.

Speaker Yeah, it's I think I've been very fortunate. And I think one always has to feel that way and think that way. You know, it's very tempting if things go well for you to say, well, I switch should be. And if they don't go well for you, well, the world it's the world's fault.

Speaker But in truth, it takes it takes good fortune. But there is a sort of earned good fortune to, you know, do you that the time has to be invested. And one puts oneself in the right place and perhaps the right time comes along.

Speaker I think that you're you're terribly vulnerable. If your goal is success, actual, you know, societal success, that that is extremely an extremely vulnerable position.

Speaker If your goal is to write music, it gives you control over your future. And that's the way I feel about it. I am not particularly interested in in my success. I'm interested in my next piece. And the day I stopped feeling excited about my next piece and feel that sense of, you know, like, gosh, I'm so lucky to be able to be doing this the day that I would feel that way, I'd be on a sailboat in the South Pacific or something. I just wouldn't stay. Because to me, the reward is in the doing of it. And that's something that, you know, you can do it on this level or that level.

Speaker And I think that one has to not look to the left and the right too much, you know, to see who who's a step ahead or a step behind or who's breathing down your neck or whose neck you're breathing, then I think that's that's pretty scary and awful because the actual career business and success in any career are pretty chancy things.

Speaker But if you love what you're doing and you feel yourself growing in what you're doing, I can't think of much more reward than that. You know, it's.

Speaker It's a it's the work itself has to be a reward for you.

Speaker And that that's kind of the buffer and the stabilizing force against all the things on the outside that, you know, with composer has to deal with fashion. You know, this is this is fashionable now and that's fashionable later. And this was fashionable but is no longer. And, you know, you have to deal with that and you have to deal with taking a great deal of criticism. You have to deal with rejection and failure. And, you know, you have to deal with lots of things like this. I mean, talk to the actors. But if you don't love what you do, you don't have a buffer against that. If you do love what you do and you have your head on straight about it, it helps you to negotiate this sort of minefield.

Speaker You know, you kind of don't look at too much of it. When you were at Juilliard, did you?

Speaker Did you see great shows here, great music, have great conversations and people that have just forever kind of loomed. I mean, when I'm there, I feel like the one fun thing is you get out into the real world and you have to really focus on, you know, how am I going to get my rice and beans or whatever that, you know. I see people getting for years.

Speaker They are just broyhill about all these things that people that have that same level of interest and a lot and very little else enters into the picture that realm. And I think they're all going to miss that. You know, I'm wondering if you experience.

Speaker Well, it's nice to recreate it, though, you know, and I've been fortunate to live my life as a composer in relation to other musicians and performances of the music and not talking about it and teaching it, but doing it and living in these circles. And that's been a very conscious choice on my part. It hasn't always been easy, but that was that was my conscious choice for that reason.

Speaker But was it a circle?

Speaker I mean, you experience it very much when you were there. Well, did you feel it in that environment that you really got a lot of a lot of, you know, food for thought from other people and shows? And did you see concerts, do things of your own, have people playing your music that it really harked back for you in a very strong way?

Speaker Sure.

Speaker And I am of course, I had lots of performances when I was at Juilliard. And some of these people are still in my life, you know? And for instance, Gene Drucker, who he didn't play something in mind when he was at Juilliard, but very shortly after that, he's a wonderful violinist. He's one of the violinists in the Emerson String Quartet. And he I think he played the first piece of my in 1978. And the Emerson String Quartet is now touring with my second string quartet, which is Mission, my Carnegie Hall. And meanwhile, they also played in my double quartet. So the premiere of that, which was in 1984 with the Chamber Music Society. So I've been really lucky to have these, you know, very long term things going on, some of which started at Juilliard.

Speaker Peter Leonard is another example. He's he's now in Germany as a conductor. And he and I were very good friends at Juilliard. And he did, as a matter of fact, of orchestral conductor reading of an orchestral piece of mine when when I was there. And he's now a conductor in Germany and he's been doing my music ever since.

Speaker And we're still friends. And John Nelson was there conducting when when I was a student there. And John and I have had a very long relationship.

Speaker Matter of fact, he did the premiere recording of my first symphony, and he's a very good friend and colleague and someone with whom I've had this very long term relationship. And I try to structure my life so that that happens. You know, where that can happen. To view it. Email us.

Speaker If you think about, you know, through something I haven't said or something that you've thought about in terms of your your time or the significance of these kinds of institutions, is that I mean, there aren't that many kinds of the very Julias, in a funny way, standing on itself in a church. Is there some thought to pad that I haven't that we haven't really touched on about that kind of education or what that brought to you or.

Speaker Well, I guess the one thing that that one always thinks as you get older, you know, is it is it. Proper to, you know, offer this to people as opposed to some other kind of education. And I come back to the idea that the young person, as long as they know that.

Speaker The odds of being able to make a total life in in music are a little difficult. As long as they know that the odds are are difficult, is not the right word. Are tough. They're not in your favor as long as they know that. I think that the education that a person gets at a place like Juilliard should stand you in good stead in anything that you wanted to do in your life, as well as having offered you an enrichment as a young person in this extremely impressive, impressionable period of your life where you're thinking about.

Speaker I mean, we're thinking about things when we're making music that we don't even have a vocabulary for. We're really dealing with time. And and it's not just mashing down fingers or jotting notes on a page. It's about doing something that exists in this very special sphere that we experience and time and the kind of intellectual control that that's required for. That is something that is is something that is connected to the way we feel. And it's almost a unique thing in human experience. This sort of integration of the feeling and the impulse and the control and the concept of.

Speaker And I think any young person who really wants to study music should be just encouraged. I think it's. It's a life with without music is is somehow rather unacceptable.

Speaker Well, I can't think of that as a closing statement of largesse. Wow.

Speaker It's very hard for a lot of people maybe, you know, that are actually playing or that are only 18 who are dead, two who are in the midst of figuring it out to be able to explain that that level of expression. They know they're having it. They know that this is what they're doing, but they can't quite tell you what they're doing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, you know, that's true of a lot of things when you're in the midst of them. That's the only good part about getting older, you know. That's right. You have a little bit of a retrospect, but. Well, I feel like very much here.

Speaker There was one thing that I cover all my my teachers, I guess.

Speaker Yeah. We had at about Sessions. Carter.

Speaker Persecuted because this is an important idea, what you're saying, and again, we interrupt.

Speaker Well, I was I was thinking that that when I look back on my music teachers, I think of these people as surrogate parents, as aunts and uncles or family members, really. I mean, they're people who are involved with your life and who you you you have a real relationship with. And one of the things that happens to a youngster who studies music is that you end up with kind of a fairly large number of surrogate parents and which opens up new worlds to you. If you come from a family that doesn't know about this or that, here's somebody who does. And maybe somebody has a different attitude about young people. And these are extremely important relationships that we have that enrich the lives apart from what you're doing. You know, it the the relationship of the music student music teacher is is very life enhancing sort of relationship. I mean, it can also be terrible. I mean, you can have there are there stories of the teachers who, you know, meddle in people's lives and, you know, her destructive parents. But but there's also many, many models of of sort of the good parent as the music teacher. And I think that's it. Kind of important aspect for the very young students.

Speaker And were you with that with that sessions? Really?

Speaker Well, Sessions is like a member of my family. Yes, very definitely. Something very I guess you'd have to say certainly no further way than uncle or great uncle or whatever. But it's it's it's a real bond that happens between the music student and the teacher. If it works well, it works well. The real bond.

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Found in: Juilliard
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-jw86h4df3t, cpb-aacip-504-9g5gb1z22k
"Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Juilliard." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 25 Apr. 2000,
(2000, April 25). Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Juilliard. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Juilliard." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). April 25, 2000. Accessed July 01, 2022


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