“In the rarefied category of sub-five-minute classical compositions of importance—not a huge body of work—Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ stands apart,” writes Steve Metcalf on Thursday (1/15) at radio station WNPR (Connecticut). “An enterprising competition just announced by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra [invites] composers to create a new fanfare, to be called ‘Fanfare for the Hartford Woman.’ The piece must be scored for a similar instrumentation to the one Copland used, and must be approximately the same length. The winning entry will be performed multiple times by members of the HSO, and will collect a prize of $1,000. Deadline for submissions is April 1. The ‘woman’ part of title, incidentally, does not have a specific meaning, although HSO folks acknowledge that it refers, at least obliquely and informally, to Carolyn Kuan, the orchestra’s music director. … The HSO Competition is not the first effort to pay homage to ‘Fanfare.’ … In 1986, the American composer Joan Tower brought forth ‘Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman.’ … Peter Schickele, doing business as his alter ego P.D.Q. Bach, composed his own tribute a few decades ago. He called it ‘Fanfare for the Common Cold.’ ”

Posted January 16, 2015