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Acclaimed composer Ned Rorem delights and provokes with a fearless collection of vivid memories, critiques, and musings on life, music, and his world

Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer Ned Rorem has been lauded for his art songs, symphonies, operas, and other orchestral works. With Critical Affairs, as with his other literary works, the great maestro once again demonstrates that he is a master of words as well as music. Winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, Critical Affairs opens a window into the brilliant mind of a multi-talented artist and acute observer of the world around him.

Rorem is fearless—sometimes shameless—in critiques of his contemporaries and their work. He gives glowing praise to those who merit it and tears down those he feels do not with a sharp and cunning wit. His remembrances of past challenges and conquests, both artistic and sexual, alternately scandalize and mesmerize, and his thoughts on everything from Walt Whitman to rock music carry weight and substance. Through it all, the author retains his unique charm and grace, whether he’s confidently confessing a shocking personal indiscretion or remembering with lyrical fondness a late musical giant who helped to shape his extraordinary career.

ABOUT Ned Rorem

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Ned Rorem is one of the most accomplished and prolific composers of art songs in the world. Drawing on a wide range of poetry and prose as inspiration, his sources have included works by Walt Whitman, W. H. Auden, Paul Goodman, Frank O’Hara, Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Paul Monette. In 1976, Rorem received the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his orchestral work Air Music. His prodigious literary accomplishments include the publication of thirteen books, nine of which were released as ebooks by Open Road Media in the summer of 2013. Rorem lives in New York City.

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