For me, composing is about creating a satisfying experience for the performer. I want my pieces to provide interesting, solvable performance problems with gratifying rewards. My favorite aspect of performing is figuring out how to work through my instrument’s strengths and weaknesses to realize my ideal expressive idea. I want the pieces I write to allow performers this same opportunity.
I am committed both to writing in a contemporary idiom and to filling out the repertoire for previously underused instrument combinations, with pieces written in historical styles. No matter what style I write in, I am unwilling to sacrifice tunefulness, because, for me, organized melody is the most effective tool to create a coherent musical structure.
I believe that composition must be practiced just like an instrument; I practice composing as much as I can, to train myself how to develop musical ideas. To be an effective composer, I believe my technique must be as unfailing as that of a performer – an inability to have a quality idea is equivalent to a missed note. As a teacher, I focus on developing the student’s ability to generate original material with ease and consistency, inspiring them by illuminating key features in the music of the great composers.