This week, I received the following lovely email:
Dear Mr. Dillon,

i am a music-education-student of the music-consevatory of cologne. in March 2010 the emerson quartett will play your 5. Quartett “Through the nights”.

In a seminar we prepar worksheets for pupils. These pupils are going to visit the concert. They will prepare the pieces in their music-lessons at school. We are not sure what the central theme of these music-lessons will be. In the moment we think about the theme “pentatonic-the american style?- What was, and what IS the american Style?” The whole programm of the concert contains of american pieces of Dvorak, Barbe, Ives and Dillon.

The question “What is the american Style?” should be the central theme of an interdisciplinary circle of lessons in a few subjects. Is it possible, that you wright us some informations about your piece? Could you send me a few pages of the score? It is very difficult to prepar pupils for the concert, when we do not know something about the piece. I swear, that these informations would not come into the public before the premiere was. Please help us to create “high qualitiy lessons” and give the pupils a better understanding of “new music” ;-)

Thanks a lot

Best regards from Bonn, Germany
Martin Kirchharz

The quest to understand new music continues, and seems to be in intrepid hands, as always.

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