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William Bolcom

I remember Luciano and me being together at Spoleto in 2001 for what would be the last time, when he had invited me to be on the jury of a contest. At the end of the few days there he sat down next to me, grabbed my knee, and deeply apologized for his not having had time to "hang out" - just be together. He had become the premier representative of Italian musical life, and it was clearly an exhausting burden.

My relationship with him was both warm and intermittent. (I am working with a biographer right now, and I want to include a chapter about ¬ęClose Friends You Never Get to See;¬Ľ Luciano was one of those friends.) Milhaud had introduced us, and so much of my life has been dominated by what that wonderful man opened to me - not least of which was meeting Luciano, who among composers I knew was perhaps the most open and embracing of all sorts of music, at a time when ideology had so divided the musical world.

William Bolcom