Of Myth-making and Monumentality: A Composer’s Response to Beethoven

Beethoven has always loomed large in my life as a performer and composer, so it seemed only natural to reflect on his influence in my own work. Yet in the past three years, a veritable Beethoven obsession has ensued, with a large orchestra work (Lyra) speculating on a Beethovenian connection with the Orpheus myth, and two chamber commissions specifically requesting a dialogue with well-known works. In addition to discussing my formal, historical, and aesthetic considerations, I will also point to examples of how other composers have responded with homage, parody, and other forms of reinvention when confronted with similar projects.