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But Ms Eastburn did quote the composer Shiva Feshareki whose criticism of the peevish Clark seems spot-on:

It’s simply a different time. We live in a world where we are constantly sharing ideas. There is a place now for so many different types of music and also collaborations between different types of people on an international level. Do we really care about who is a “great” composer? Or do we care more about how we have more fluidity now, and that we have access to more perspectives, which means art can positively impact the lives of a wider variety of people?

The aspirations of the new generation of composers seem very different too. When I was in my twenties the gold standard of compositional advance was a commission from the London Sinfonietta and acceptance by the London New Music crowd. I remember a composer who had an important position as a “composer in residence” in a regional organisation telling me he was desperate to get back to London to pursue his place in the “Ollygarchy” (composers championed  by the conductor Oliver Knussen). How things have changed. There are many different and diverse ensembles who now make up the British new music ecology, and there are so many other great champions of composers nowadays, at home and abroad, reflecting a much wider range of stylistic perspectives.

Even the “London Sinfonietta sound” has changed. In its early days this was a disparate ensemble of spindly solo virtuosi, and many great composers of the 1960s and ’70s avant garde wrote for them. But it might have become dated, and composers began drifting off into their own customised sound worlds. Technology obviously featured in some of this, and in the new ways of disseminating this music. But they also rediscovered an awe of the traditional orchestra and choir. Some of the best young composers are building a repertoire of big, bold works which are being performed and broadcast by British orchestras such as the LSO and choirs such as Harry Christopher’s crack ensemble The Sixteen. Jay Capperauld, only in his late twenties, has had works commissioned by the BBC, the RSNO and The Cumnock Tryst. Alissa Firsova has written music for The Sixteen, now commercially recorded. Their discussions about new music aesthetics and personal styles are refreshingly relaxed and eclectic, but are bound to get them a severe ticking-off from a Guardian music critic some day soon. I tell them not to worry and recount my own scolding from a Guardian writer who, when I quoted Roger Scruton in a pre-concert talk, described this foolhardy heresy as “perilous”. For whom? For me? Was this meant to be a threat? Ideology and political posturing has contaminated the waters of new classical music too much in the past century, especially in mainland European centres like Darmstadt, and in the Academy generally. What I see now is younger composers putting aside the irrelevant, the pointless and the extraneous and focusing on the music itself, casting a wide net for their inspiration and motivation.
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