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'On the whole,' Hickey comments, 'it was a tremendous experience. I'm blessed with this disc, for every person who played or had a particular part in the production, including the musicians, staff, and my wonderful producer, Benjamin Bierman. It was great to work with artists who really brought to the works a large element of their own personalities.'

Sean Hickey (left) with producer Ben Bierman during the Naxos sessions
Sean Hickey (left) with producer Ben Bierman during the Naxos sessions

I then ask Hickey, what is the most difficult thing about being a young composer, to which he replies after a moment of reflection, 'For me, as a composer and an American, the hardest thing is that artists in our country are, unless they are of inordinate fame, often treated as second-class citizens. In this society, a classical composer is like a relic. It's just not understood, because it's not as deeply ingrained in our culture, as it is in other parts of the world. It seems that many individuals in America don't understand that writing music is something that's still being done. But honestly, I would rather be poor and at peace as a composer -- and die that way -- than I would wish to be rich and not be a composer.'

With this last comment, it suddenly dawns on me. Sean Hickey's modesty is not, after all, the result of plain humility, nor is it feigned in any way for the sake of yielding a good impression. This young composer considers his greatest successes to be linked solely with his craft, and the contributions he might bring to a world he so deeply loves. 'I mean, I think that my work can speak for itself,' he adds with a smile, 'But if you're asking what kind of music I write, I'll tell you. I write the good kind.'

Copyright © 6 November 2005 Ted Kendall, New York, USA





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