« on: February 13, 2008, 09:46:56 PM »
I had a pretty heavy dose of the classics when I was growing up. Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and a smattering of the contemporary stuff that would creep in when our family would see the LA Philharmonic. I remember very clearly seeing/hearing a John Cage premiere that was to commemorate the nation's bicentennial. The piece had about three or four different sections going on at once at different parts of auditorium, and I remember a very old lady near us rolling up her problem and booing loudly. I also remember putting my hand over the end of her program because I wanted to hear more of the music! (I had a lot of cheek as a teenager.) As a teenager, I was also exposed to Bartok (his concerto for orchestra is still one of my favorite works) and Copland (though Appalachian Spring was great, but couldn't get into his serial works), and was also familiar with the progification of some these works through progrock groups like Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I also remember being introduced to Rachmamninoff's Symphonic Dances from a classmate who now teaches composition at UCLA.
I stuidied a bit of formal classical composition when I went to college and belonged to a collegium, but didn't think I had the discipline or the chops to make a go at a career in classical music. Probably the most lasting influence from the classical area on my own music came from the minimalists like Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Terry Riley. Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" was particularly a revelation to me. These days, I actually lean more towards stuff that I didn't listen that much when I was younger--baroque music (particularly concernto grossi), Debussy solo piano music and Mozart piano concertos.