“Classical music has a gatekeeping problem, and much of that can be traced through the word ‘great,’ ” writes Zoë Madonna on Friday (11/16) at National Public Radio. “I mean Great as in Great Composers…. Don’t get me wrong. Most of these works are in the canon because they are actually pretty great…. … Missy Mazzoli, 38, is trying to tear down the gates for new composers and listeners.… Her resumé also includes … composer residencies with institutions like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the forward-thinking Opera Philadelphia, and two heady recordings with her all-female band Victoire…. In 2016, Mazzoli co-founded the New York-based Luna Composition Lab. Through annual fellowships, Luna encourages the composition careers of young women, nonbinary people, and gender-nonconforming people aged 13 to 19, providing them one-on-one mentorship, performance opportunities, and a ready-made network of composers who look like them…. Mazzoli never had a female composition teacher herself, but her own first forays into the operatic world resulted from teaming up with a woman: contemporary opera producer Beth Morrison…. The statistics still aren’t in favor of anyone who’s not a cisgender white man. But … the gate is open, and you are welcome.”

Posted November 20, 2018