Prize winning. (PAE thread 2 )

Subject: Prize winning. (PAE thread 2 )
From: Martin Gotfrit (martin_gotfrit@SFU.CA)
Date: Mon Jul 05 1999 - 13:32:02 EDT

Dear CEC folks,

I'd like to put in a few cents about the other aspect to the PAE thread.
The capricious nature of the selection process for prizes and the
importance of that selection for many composers both outside and inside
academia. Many of us know how it is done: the jury listens for say 2- 5
minutes? Marks are tallied, trade-offs made. How often have we seen the
compromise work win with a heavily divided jury? And what if your work
develops slowly, or requires immersion by the listener for more than a few
moments, or if your CD is on before lunch and has just followed something
____ (fill in the blank), or your piece just doesn't tranlate well to audio
only playback (many interactive/live works) and the video document is
really just a pale shadow. I personally don't have any bright ideas about
how to select winners. When asked to serve on a jury I do my best but I
rarely feel confident. As a teacher I am constantly evaluating, judging,
yet I would be the first to state that the concept of judging a work of art
(selection) is fraught with many difficulties.
As to the importance of this selection to careers - well I needn't say anything.

Parting shot: A wise teacher said to me a long time ago that contests are
really like the lottery - you shouldn't feel bad about losing and you
should never think that you are special if you win.


Martin Gotfrit, Associate Prof., Music Area,
Simon Fraser University, School for the Contemporary Arts
Burnaby B.C. * V5A 1S6 * 604-291-3517/fax/5907

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