Magazine July 18, 2011, Issue

A Composer’s Hour

Rodion Shchedrin (Yuri Belinsky/Itar-Tass)
On the Russian master Rodion Shchedrin

Every now and then, I’ll interview a musician, and I’ll often ask, “Who are the living composers you admire or respect? Is there anyone worth listening to today?” Usually, the musician will smile at the cheeky way the question is phrased. Almost never will he protest, “What do you mean? There are many, many fine composers among us.” Chances are, he’ll say, “Well . . .” — then give me two or three names. One of those names is likely to be that of a Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin.

In the last 15 years, he has grown ever more popular, championed

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