Episode 12 - Dominick Argento 
In mid-March 2018, Philip sat down with Pulitzer Prize winning music composer, and Minneapolis resident, Dominick Argento. Their conversation ranges across a decades-long relationship, from the 1960s when Philip was student and Dominick his teacher at the University of Minnesota, to later periods when Philip commissioned Dom to write all kinds of choral music.

They talk about music education. Says Dom, “Teaching was a way of staying alive, intellectually, for me. To have to talk about what you do, every day — day after day — meant re-examining it constantly. You need to be in touch with your material, thinking about it, in love with it.”

On writing music, he says, “The joy [of composing] is in the writing. The joy of creation is something you don’t share. If [a creator] has had a good day, you see it on their face. If they had a bad day, they’re practically dead."

Philip and Dom also dive into the business of composing music—with Dom noting, [As a composer] "I’d like to feel I’m making as much in a week as an auto mechanic makes in a garage. I’m not doing anything much more extraordinary. The great part of any commission is someone says, ‘I want to do your music.’”

It’s a fascinating view into a longstanding relationship, steeped in a love of music. 

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