Morten Lauridsen - Advice to young composers
Jonah Rosenthal: If you could give any particular advice to young people interested in becoming composers themselves, what would stand out above everything else for you?
Morten Lauridsen: Well, the composer has to know more than any other musician in a certain way. They have to combine their knowledge of theory and orchestration in history and counterpoint and all of these elements. They must have all of that at hand in order to be able to express themselves musically through the creation of a brand new work out of nothing. And for that you need technical strength. And I would suggest to all composers that you work on your craft. You work on your theory in your orchestration and your counterpoint. But also you do a great deal of listening. You study scores, you attend concerts. You leave your ears open to new sounds. You understand how the music of the great masters is put together. What are the aspects of the compositions of Bach or Brahms, or Webern, or any of these people. And to be a composer you must have a great deal of knowledge and that is through self study. And it requires a great deal of dedication.
Remember that what we are trying to do as a composer, we’re trying to express ourselves musically by the creation of a new work. And in order to do that successfully, one must have a palette of technical possibilities. If I want to express myself in a very abstract way, I should note some of the technical means of doing that. If I do it in a more direct way, I should be able to know that each one of these facets requires a great deal of knowledge. And so I, for a for a composer, it takes in a great deal of study of many different facets.