The Society of Composing Tradition issued a press statement today announcing a new award for orchestras that embrace what it defines as “programming music from composers that have a proven track record of success.”
April 1, 2019
SOCIETY OF COMPOSING TRADITION ANNOUNCES NEW AWARD FOR COURAGEOUS PROGRAMMING OF TRADITIONAL REPERTOIRE
Program will formalize a system of constructed criteria to recognize effective programming from core and living composers.
NEW YORK, 4/1/2019: The Society of Composing Tradition believes the practice of highlighting composers from what are commonly referred to as “diversity groups” only serves to diminish the reputation of those composers, and contributes to a culture that is skeptical as to whether the music of those people truly deserves to be heard alongside that of the established composers of core repertoire.
Curation without consideration for whether a composer is living, his gender, or his race has a proven track record of success, and will contribute to a future in which the question becomes moot because it will no longer need to be asked, not even sotto voce.
Therefore, the Society is proud to introduce the award for Courageous Programming of Traditional Repertoire.
Rather than fostering harmony and integration, preferences regarding gender, race, and whether or not a composer is living threaten to minimize the frequency of programming music from composers whose works have a valued history of connecting with audiences,” said Society President John Smith. “While efforts to highlight music from certain groups of composers may be on the rise, those efforts unwittingly serve to marginalize and discriminate against the full range of our organization’s composers, both living and deceased. We want to recognize the courage it takes in today’s environment to program music from composers who have a proven track record of success.”
In addition to recognizing orchestras that embrace traditional programming, the Society plans to highlight organizations that have leveraged music from living composers that reinforce traditional styles.
“The Society’s research demonstrates that incorporating a reasonable percentage of works from living composers can reinforce ticket revenue, provided those works closely internalize the artistic parameters of traditional repertoire,” said Smith. “It’s not the fault of living white male composers that their works are more frequently selected by orchestras and, it’s no coincidence these works are well received by audiences. We want orchestras to understand the risks associated with this trendy fad of diversity for the sake of diversity, and acknowledge groups that avoid ratio-based programming.”
The Society plans on announcing the recipients for the inaugural award during its annual conference this June.
The Society of Composing Tradition promotes the works of classical music composers, both living and deceased. Programs reinforce a history of artistic accomplishment and seek to help living composers and orchestras continue those traditions.
Board of Directors
John Smith, President
Robert Jones, Vice-President
Luke Miller, Secretary
Bradley Williams, Treasurer
Hamilton G. Fantomos
Augustus St. Cloud