You may know Daron Hagen‘s music, but have you read his blog? It’s got material about his pieces, productions of his operas and so forth, but it also has a good deal of memoir – some harrowing stuff about his family of origin, and a good bit about teachers and mentors. The latter type of post is striking because it speaks of Daron’s connections with an earlier era of American composers: Virgil Thomson, David Diamond, Ned Rorem, Louise Talma, and Vincent Persichetti all figure in his anecdotes. It’s fascinating stuff, and makes one think Daron must be older than he actually is – he was born in 1961. Maybe I don’t know the right people, but surely there aren’t that many composers his age who worked for Thomson, or used to buy cigarettes for Talma while at Yaddo.