What are the special challenges/pleasures of working with particular musicians, singers, ensembles and orchestras?
What’s great about working closely with an ensemble or a performer, is that you get to know each other, and can play to each other’s strengths. Just as individual instruments will suggest how and what to write for them, so, too, can a particular performer inform the material. Many of my works are in fact portraits of the musicians they were written for. The better you know someone, the better you can write for them.
But sometimes you get so specialized, so idiomatic, that you might end up writing a piece that can only ever really be performed by one person. I suspect that much of the music I have written for Norwegian saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrøm will suffer this fate.