Okay, let’s put it another way. How important is a top-of-the-line musical education to success as a composer?
Can a composer who went to, say, Houston Baptist University, Western Michigan University, and the University of Iowa be as good as your typical Sequenza21 Eli?
I ask the question because I was listening to WNYC2 (the best source of contemporary music on the Internet, if you don’t know already–playing Tehillim right now) and I heard a terrific piece called Edges by a composer named Luke Dahn, whom I’d never heard of before. Awfully damned good piece. So I googled him and discovered that his resume matches my hypothetical resume above. Before you start with the “elitist” shit storm, let me say that I went to Marshall and West Virginia University and I’m sure that all of the places Dahn went have excellent music departments. But, they ain’t Julliard.
There’s a nice sample of his work here.