At the Philharmonic, there were four premiere pieces all by highly educated young white men. It is easier to be a composer if you come from money and you are sent to all the right schools. My friend Mark Abel was a journalist who later became a composer. I am much impressed with highly successful imaginative people who did not go to all the right schools. If you go to an Ivy League school, or Oberlin, or any other fancy school, aren’t you already 98 % of the way there? But having said all that, if you could send your kid to all the fancy schools, wouldn’t you do that? Authentic intelligence and creativity feels so much more real to me than anything that can be cooked up in schools, but we want to educate our children and ourselves if we can.
The same thing is true in writing. There is a lot of well crafted work coming out of the MFA programs and in an ideal world, we open up, let loose, live in the world of the imagination. The four young men all seemed perfectly intelligent, perfectly trained, their music was perfect. Their music never missed a beat. Some of us have messy dirty music which misses a lot of beats.