Hipster Composers

The Hipster Composer: an oxymoron, right? Hipsterism is all about surface--image, style, etc--while the Classical music tradition is all about substance--form, structure. But these elements are rarely in balance, and composers seem to slide toward one extreme or the other. 

Recently, there's been some accusations of hipster sensibilities in response to a feature in the NY Magazine about a cadre of post-stylistic NYC composers: the cool kids. But, like it or not, hipster composers have been around for as long as we've had hipsters and composers. This has always rankled the other kind of composer, the Yin to their Yang: the nerd composer.
Below are some examples. Some composers I couldn't figure out: Beethoven, Schoenberg, Babbitt, Crumb, Wagner. Any help?
[Just kidding: Babbitt was a total nerd.]

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  • Schoenberg has to be a nerd, right? Radically intellectual approach to music that eschewed surfaces, founded a school, no facial hair and sports a bow-tie? Plus, it seems right that hipsters Berg & Cage would have studied with a nerd.

    For Wagner, can we just go with the admittedly abused but nonetheless accurate 'douche'?

    Beethoven . . I'm stumped too. Genuine passion and authenticity defy these categories. And that makes me happy.

  • George is as much a hipster as Babbitt is a nerd. Lorca settings, using artistic notation, and composing for that ultimate of hip instruments, the electric cello should confirm his hipster status. The occasional beret and pipe defy nerdiness, also.

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