I’ve had some email suggestions for my 80s list that have been very provocative and helpful. Time to take a crack at the 90s and 00s. This isn’t a “best of” list, it’s a list of works I have seen have an impact on young composers. I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m hoping to get feedback from younger composers whose are in the process of shaping their voices, because the fallout from a lot of newer music is difficult for older composers to measure:

Julia Wolfe: Four Marys (1991)
John Adams: Chamber Symphony (1992)
David Lang: Cheating, Lying, Stealing (1993)
Michael Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony (1993)
Tan Dun: Marco Polo (1996)
Thomas Ades: Powder Her Face (1997)
Pierre Boulez: Sur incises (1998)
Frederic Rzewski: Pocket Symphony (2000)
Osvaldo Golijov: La Pasión según San Marcos (2000)
Michael Gordon: Decasia (2001)

As Kyle Gann and Rodney Lister have averred, and I certainly agree, there are a number of reasons why a list like this will always fall short of being comprehensive. Again, I am looking at this as a starting point. Most of all, I want to know what I’ve missed, so I can take a crack at filling in my own gaps. So let me know what you think!

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