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Personal Vision and the Education of Young Composers in America

A conversation between an outstanding young composer and one of America’s leading mentors of young composers: Michelle Lou, graduate of University of California, San Diego, and Stanford University; and Roger Reynolds, Pulitzer prize-winning American composer and professor, University of California, San Diego. On the occasion of the 66th American Music Festival: Personal Visions at the National Gallery of Art, the festival’s guest director Roger Reynolds spoke with Michelle Lou about nurturing individual artistic pursuits and the role that academic training and mentorship have in the process. Traditionally, aspiring composers in the United States devote some period of time to formal study, but an educational program alone cannot prepare them for a professional life in music. In this conversation, presented on March 9, 2015, as part of the Works in Progress series, Reynolds and Lou highlight the challenges that young artists face in our times and the part that personal mentors as well as formal education play in their support.