I’m thrilled to have just stumbled across this picture montage and interview excerpt of my former S.F. Conservatory composition teacher Conrad Susa discussing his beautiful orchestral work The Blue Hour. It was prepared by music journalist and long-time Conservatory faculty member Scott Foglesong for this article about a concert of music by Conrad and another beloved former teacher Elinor Armer that took place last year.

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I’m particulary fond of this passage in Scott’s article:

Conrad Susa’s music is of a fashion some writers may call accessible, a reprehensible term deserving a lifetime Sour Grapes Award on behalf of twitchy academic composers everywhere. Forget the term, and forget everything some well-intentioned sap has told you about contemporary music.

One is not required to understand the music, or appreciate it. It’s perfectly OK simply to enjoy it, let it be what it is and refrain from labels, -isms, -ibles, cubbyholes and pigeonholes. Susa offers the notion of “a transfiguration of an ordinary moment. And it puts a halo around a time of day and makes it blessed, something is conferred on it, or it confers something.”