Composer Ellen Zwilich on how technology benefits musicians

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Composer Ellen Zwilich (courtesy Greg Stepanich & The Palm Beach Arts Paper)

The Palm Beach Arts Paper recently ran a profile of Pulitzer-prize winning composer and Sibelius user Ellen Zwilich, in advance of the Florida premiere of her acclaimed Septet for piano trio and string quartet (2009).

As the article says:

Zwilich, 70, is a native South Floridian and one of the most honored American composers of our time. The first woman to earn a doctorate in composition at the Juilliard School, she was also the first woman composer to win a Pulitzer (for her First Symphony, in 1983).

On the march of technology and its impact on musicians, composers and consumers of music, Ellen says:

“I think we’re at the dawn of something very, very interesting. We’ve got to get a number of things right at this point. You look back at the history of the player piano, or the disc recording, and it was always going to be the end of music, and it never did anything but open things up.

“I’m not one of the doomsayers, ” said Zwilich, who does all her composing, even sketching, using the Sibelius music software program. “Every technological advance that people have gotten very upset about turned out so much better than they anticipated,” she said. “Of course, the problem with the Internet, which I happen to love, is that you really have to know what you’re looking at.”

Check out the profile in full, and in particular the recommended listening links at the bottom of the profile to familiarise yourself with the music of Ellen Zwilich.

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