According to Mr. DiBeradino, classical music has moved away from the atonal approach used for much of the Twentieth Century. It has become more listener friendly. But while the new classical music may appeal to broader audiences, the opportunities for classical composers are extremely limited. He cited three basic avenues open for modern classicists. These are:
- Writing for films
- Teaching at academies
- Living off of commissions (available only for a handful of composers)
But in spite of the vocational limitations, classical music plays an important role in our lives. It helps bring us together as a community and will often provide a meaningful background for our emotions, contemplation and helping us with interpretations. Today’s music is directed towards today’s audience. It can take a variety of approaches and can be fun as well as serious. Occasionally, modern classical music can also be inspired by popular music as modern classical tends to be more melodic than that previously acceptable in the classical world.
Mr. DiBeradino provided excerpts from the work of some of his more prestigious teachers as well as his own work to illustrate his points.
Q. Is there any common denominator for theme development in modern composition?
A. Melody is definitely back.
Q. Is there any processed music today?
A. There is a sub-genre of electronic music and you can find a lot of it out there.
Q. Is there a specific orchestra you work with?
A. Most new composers try to work with many orchestras. None of them will give much rehearsal time to new composer pieces.
Q. Where does Ligeti fit in your pantheon of composers?
A. Very high.
Q. If you had a choice where would you study in Europe?
A. Amsterdam would be a good choice, but anywhere is good.
Q. To what extent are you conscious of traditional classical forms?
A. All modern composers study them, but they seldom use these forms.
Q. Concert audiences tend to be the very old. How do you get younger people in?
A. I believe you have to work outside of concert halls in other venues such as music barges that appeal to younger audiences. A strong musical presence in schools is also very important and you have to vary your styles.
Q. Can you comment on the importance of rap music?
A. Rap music got its beginning by referencing parts of other pieces. A lot of that is now done in modern classical music.