To all of you who have contributed your comments and questions about Project 440 thus far, thanks! It’s great to see so many thoughtful and wide-ranging opinions. In response to one question—whether Project 440 is a variation on “American Idol” or reality TV at large—we’d like to offer a note of clarification.
It is certainly not Orpheus’ intent to create classical music’s response to “American Idol.” We are not asking for votes or counting comments. There will be no “save” for the candidate with the most positive adjectives. Actually, the four commissioned composers will be determined by a Selection Committee of Orpheus musicians, executive staff, and previously commissioned composers.
So why are we asking to hear from you? Why not decide on these commissions behind closed doors, as usual? First, we want to showcase more composers—it’s just more interesting to learn about sixty people and their music than four. Second, we want to open up the process and find out what you think—about these composers, contemporary music at large, accessibility, originality, etc. It’s you, after all, who will be listening to the outcome. What you say here will be brought to the Selection Committee as the process continues. And yes, contrary to what happens on reality TV these days, we might end up making an unpopular decision. So by all means, continue the commentary; just don’t expect a vote!