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.]