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
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.