I will attend the Componisten ’96 meeting this evening, for only the second time. As a foreigner, I need to put my face around a bit (well I’m quite reclusive, actually) and also listen and watch. I am interested in learning further how the Dutch do things. I never went to a union meeting in the UK, so I can’t compare the two approaches, though at least in one detail I can. Louis Andriessen was at the first meeting I attended and I was struck by that…………as the leading Dutch composer, he wasn’t following anything like English protocol. In England, such a figure wouldn’t be found dead at a composers’ union meeting. Can you imagine Baron Britten of Aldeburgh attending a union meeting? No. Never. And Britten was seriously posh, so that’s another layer of protocol again.
Why English and Dutch protocol differs in this matter I don’t know.