So as a composer I have been pondering the following question; What should we being listening to? There are many pieces of music; composers and performers that I love to listen to, but is everything I like to listen to something that I should be listening to as a composer, id est are there pieces (and performers) that we should listen to to make us better composers, to broaden our compositional thinking and our ears versus pieces that we listen to for musical pleasure (however you chose to define musical pleasure)?
That beginning said, what pieces and performers do you think one needs to listen to (and study) as part of a process of becoming a better composer? Or do all pieces and composers offer something that will help us grow as composers. Or should one shut one's self off from the musical world and only listen to the music in your head? Or is that the path of madness?