Composers Forum is a daily web log that allows invited contemporary composers to share their thoughts and ideas on any topic that interests them--from the ethereal, like how new music gets created, music history, theory, performance, other composers, alive or dead, to the mundane, like getting works played and recorded and the joys of teaching. If you're a professional composer and would like to participate, send us an e-mail.
In the comments regarding a recent Steve Reich performance in which the audience treated Steve Reich fairly rudely in the opinions of most of us, someone raised an interesting question: how should composers handle negative criticism?
My personal take on criticism: if it's constructive, then it should be taken in all seriousness and acted upon. If it's destructive, then it's irrelevant. As Max Reger once said to a critic: "I'm sitting in the smallest room of my house with your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me."
People either like or dislike my music, and I'm not bothered by anyone who dislikes it. While we all want everyone to love our music, not everyone will. I'd be more concerned if someone was indifferent to it. Indifference is far worse than dislike, since it suggests the music was not capable of having any impact whatsoever.
posted by David Toub