To Be A Composer, Or Not To Be?
by Previn Hudetz
“To be, or not to be? That is the question.” Shakespeare’s immortal ruminations on life and death are perhaps a very appropriate method of conveying how a young man or woman might feel when choosing whether or not to pursue a life led by his or her passion. It may feel as though the choice was one between creating life and embracing death, and in a very meaningful way, it is. As a composer, I can offer some insight into how I reached my own choice, and where it has led me so far.
The drive to compose has been with me for as long as I can remember. Ever since I remember hearing people performing music, I’ve had the desire to create it. And not just to re-create what has already been made, but to bring something new into the world. The realization of that ambition has been mixed, my own imagination being what it is, but the pursuit has been emotionally and spiritually rewarding. To create something is to affirm life, and is perhaps the most natural process in the world, in a closely contested race with entropy.
Creation is something we all do every day on a cellular level, a mental level, a social level and in so many other areas that they are too many to count. So why restrict ourselves or others in the realm of music? It only makes sense then that we should use our connection with music to create something which brings us joy, comforts us in our times of pain, or fulfills some other vital need we may have. So, in many ways, composing is something we should all be doing on some level, even if it’s as simple as embracing the feeling of a wrong note. Repeat the wrong three times, and you can even turn it into a theme.
Free yourself to embrace the unexpected. It is often where growth resides.
Music is a snapshot of an emotion or feeling at some point in our lives, and it allows us to remember that sense of love, or frustration, or heartache, or bliss that carried us for a time. It allows us to connect with our humanity in a uniquely powerful way. So, as a composer, I invite you into the fold of creators; there is something that only you can offer, that only you can bring. Your experiences are important, and your feelings are real. Share them through your music, and create. We are all composers.
Previn Hudetz is an American composer whose palette includes the operatic, folk, popular, Christian, orchestral and choral genres. He has received awards for several pieces, including the string orchestral piece “Spirit of Borodino,” and the celtic-pop piece “Angels Will Fall.” “Spirit of Borodino” was recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic, and is on the Masterworks of the new Era CD, volume 15. “Angels Will Fall” received honorable mention at the International Peace Festival in Tipperary, Ireland. Previn has written several commissioned works, including an orchestral and choral work for the Franciscans titled “Prayer In Our Land,” and a concert band work for NASA titled “To the Stars, and Home Again.”
Previn has composed several theatrical works, including a fanciful musical about Leif Ericson (Leif), a children’s musical about the Frog Prince fairytale (The Frog Prince), and most recently, a tragic love story set amidst the Salem witch trials (Salem 1692). In addition to his theatrical compositions, Previn has published a CD of ten original compositions titled “Dolce,” which blends Celtic, American folk, improvisational and popular music elements. One of the pieces from the CD, “Holy Hands,” was performed by the Lyon College Choir for the inauguration of their new President in 1998. Recently, Previn has composed several choral works that have been performed by the Emissaries Choir and other choral groups in the Colorado area.
In addition to composing, Previn sings and plays piano professionally. His favorite tenor roles so far include Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Martin in The Tender Land, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, and Padre in The Man of La Mancha. He also performs as a pianist and popular singer in Colorado and the surrounding states at weddings, fundraisers, corporate events, and private parties. Previn would like to thank his family, teachers and friends for their encouragement and support. And most of all, he is grateful for his amazing wife, Tisha, who inspires him every day to be the best person he can be.