I don’t follow classical music to any degree although I am curious about the phenomenon of the only good composer being a dead composer. Why do Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, et al, seem to be part of a deity that does not accept new members?
Whatever the answer, in Minneapolis our current Minnesota Orchestra music director, Osmo Vänskä, did something about this by featuring work by Kalevi Aho — his Insect Symphony (Hyönteissinfonia). Aho was born in 1949 and appears to be still alive.
The New Yorker recently profiled Vänskä (Feb. 14 & 21 2005, 254) and Finnish classical music (and a tiny bit of Minneapolis which is why I’m posting here and learning a bit about classical music).
This Insect Symphony sounds very interesting (read The New Yorker piece). I could be persuaded to buy it. (Sadly, nothing comes up at iTunes or with a quick mp3 search via Google.)