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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000568.txt from 2002/06

From: "Laurence Young" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] New clarinet for the new year.
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 02:48:00 -0400

Mr. Leupold,

D'oh. I was just reading through some of my old filed away e-mails and I
came across yours. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you.
Anyway, the contemporary music situation at Peabody is this. In theory you
spend one semester on contemporary theory (from circa 1900-1950). The
emphasis is on regular theory with the added Babbit square, Hanson, etc.
forms of analysis. They don't emphasize the techniques too much just give
you an introduction to what's been done in the first half of the last
century. They basically ignore everything written since 1950. The last
class of the year (that is not the final exam) my teacher gave us a list of
current composers whom he thought were good, Libby Larson, Michael Torke,
Chris Rouse, Joan Tower, and so on. Obviously his bias was against anything
serial, post serial, and that route. We basically spent the whole semester
working on Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, and Barber. I found the class boring and
pedantic as if trying to apply outdated analysis techniques to situations
which were inappropriate.

As far as playing goes, there is an outstanding group which meets on
Saturday morning called the Peabody Camerata conducted by Gene Young (no
relation). This group, of which I'm lucky to be counted as a member, plays
only contemporary music, including Frank Zappa (!), John Zorn (!), Gregory
Ligetti (we did the Chamber Concerto which is hard as ...!!!!), and several
student and (for me anyway) unknown composers. As far as the orchestra it
seems to favor standard rep. with a tip each year to Shostakovich and
Mahler. There is also a student composer added each year but I can't say
there's anything worth playing again... much less listening to again.

There is a very good contemporary 'history' class which gives the student a
broad range of what's been composed in the last century and the teacher
doesn't seem to have the theory department's fear of atonal music. They
cram it all in the history dept. but they do cover, Jazz, Rock, non-western
influences, plus classical music (that is symphony and opera stuff) from
non-western countries.

Overall I think the situation is okay at Peabody as far as contemporary
music. There is some exposure and some playing opportunities. There is
plenty of room for improvement but there are places to go at Peabody for the
inclined performer or acedemian. Again I'm sorry it took so long for me to
reply to you.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Neil Leupold" <>
Subject: Re: [kl] New clarinet for the new year.

> Hello Laurence, welcome aboard. Question for you: I have a friend who got
> her master's on flute at Peabody -- quite a refined player, in fact -- and
> she recently bemoaned to me the absence of contemporary music in Peabody's
> formal curriculum, both in orchestral and chamber settings. Only now, in
> her life as an active freelancer in New York and Long Island, has she
> to revel in the exploration of modern repertoire and the creative
> ities therein. This was stunning to me, given the otherwise comprehensive
> level of her knowledge and musicality. Is that still the case? Are stu-
> dents earning degrees there without at least rudimentary exposure to music
> by living composers in a lab, if not performance, context?
> Thanks,
> Neil
> --- Laurence Young <> wrote:
> > Hello there, everyone. My name is Laurence Young. I live in Maryland
> > I'm a music performance major (clarinet of course) at the Peabody
> > in Baltimore, where my teacher is Mr. Edward Palanker. I've got a year
> > a half left on my Bachelor's Degree there and then it's off to something
> > else. I'm not really sure what that something else is yet but it does
> > appear I will have to make some choices here very soon. I am a dues
> > member of the International Clarinet Association and I have been to
> > of their conferences including last year's in New Orleans. I'm not sure
> > what else to tell you all. I look forward to hearing what everyone else
> > here on the list talks about regarding the clarinet. I'm sure I will
> > a lot from what you all have to say. I wish you all the best of reeds
> > the new year.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Laurence E. Young
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
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