It was a pleasure to welcome composer Robert Beaser to HKBU. Beaser is in Hong Kong as the Distinguished Guest Composer of the Intimacy of Creativity, organized by composer Bright Sheng and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I was so glad Bob was able to make the time to speak with our students about his approach to composing, as well as stylistic developments in the US. This was an especially interesting perspective for our students.
It’s hard to believe that I first met Bob way back in 2007 at the Bowdoin Festival while I was still a graduate student. I have enjoyed keeping in touch with him over the years and getting to know his music more, which I enjoy for the immediacy and range of its emotional impact. I vividly remember a performance of his guitar arrangement of the folk song, Shenandoah, at the June in Buffalo Festival in 2012. His music exhibits absolute clarity without ever being simplistic, and I think this is a goal to which we can all aspire. As it happens, I will be seeing him again in just a short time at the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial where I will receive the Charles Ives Fellowship. I look forward to many future reunions!