Between program notes and bio, a composer’s message is usually seen first and heard second. These two portions of the compositional process — the program notes and the short biography — are among the least celebrated, and yet they are present with a listener well before the downbeat and well after the double bar, the singular lasting documentation of what it was we were trying to express with a new piece and why we were worth listening to in the first place. And in those bite-sized media, every word carries weight and meaning whether the composer intends it to or not.

Read More