William Berger Introduces Our Opera and Film Guests --Nico Muhly


Nico Muhly

The American composer is prominent among the most notable musical figures in the world. Often classified as “contemporary classical,” I remember him once telling a room as a panelist that “those categorizations only mattered to the guy who had to arrange stuff at Tower Records – and he’s not around anymore.” Born in 1981 (yes, that’s right), his operas have been produced at the Metropolitan and elsewhere, and he has collaborated with every name imaginable (from Philip Glass to Björk to Anohni) demonstrating the diverse range of interests informing his work from the Anglican liturgical tradition to the Icelandic avant-garde. When speaking about his opera Two Boys on a panel, Muhly explained the phenomenon of contemporary audiences to me by using the striking phrase “continuous partial attention.” I’ve never forgotten it.


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