Warming my heart

Today there’s a heartwarming piece about me in the Chicago Tribune, by their longtime classical music critic, John von Rhein. John was going to come to one of the talks I gave in Chicago on Tuesday of last week, and asked me for some background. As it happened, he couldn’t come to the talk, but I’m honored by how carefully he read the package of links that I sent him, and by how seriously he takes what I say.

In the end — and this makes me happy — his piece isn’t about me. It’s about where classical music needs to go. The more people talking about this, the better it is for the art that we love. I’m thrilled by John’s willingness to consider radical alternatives, which surely aren’t the entire answer to the problems we face, but have to be let through the door as possibilities. We don’t know what shape change will ultimately take, and so we have to open to just about anything.

So thanks, John. I’m touched and honored. Means a lot, coming from a long-time colleague.

If anyone’s curious, here are the links I sent him. With my descriptions. Makes a reasonable introduction to the 2010 edition of me.

First, two recent items, which sum up some of my current


A prospectus

for a session I did with students at the Yale School of Music not long

ago. It’s about my current preoccupation, my thought that young

classical musicians should be looking for an audience their own age.

(Or, as one of my advisors puts it, creating an audience their own age.)

This was part of a very busy visit to Yale, in which I spoke with

students in various departments, met with faculty, staff, and

administration, and finally had the session the prospectus is for. I should note that I’m an artist in residence at the University of

Maryland, working with music students to help them reach this new


(Here’s a page

that shows the program my session was part of. And here’s the

session itself, which was streamed live, and then archived. It just

went online, and I haven’t watched it yet. Don’t know what the quality


And then a

paper I gave this past fall at an international conference in

Tunisia. They’re billing it as a defense of popular culture, but really

it’s an exposition of – as I see it – the emerging new culture that

classical music will have to be part of. I rewrote this pretty

thoroughly a few weeks ago when they wanted to post it, which makes it

quite current. Crammed with footnotes, which link to documentation for

my various points.

You could also look at the syllabus for my Juilliard

course on the future of classical music, which I give every spring. It

has links to all the reading and listening.

And, of course, my

publicly unfolding book – called Rebirth — on the future of.

Everything I’ve posted so far is here.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditEmail this to someone