Boston, and the other Cambridge

I’ll be making two trips in the next two weeks.

First, on May 4 and 5, Boston, to speak at a graduating students’ lunch at New England Conservatory, and also to speak with various people, most definitely including those involved (students, faculty, staff) with the school’s impressive program for entrepreneurial musicianship

Then, on May 13, I’ll be taking part in a formal (black tie!) debate at Cambridge University in England: “This house believes that classical music is irrelevant to today’s youth.” This will be presented by the Cambridge Union Society, which has been debating since 1815. I’ve been asked to join the affirmative side (though as I hope you can imagine, I think the question deserves more than just a yes or no answer). 

And I expect to stay a few days after the debate, to see people/go to concerts in London. Seems like I’ll be meeting people from Guildhall, one of the UK’s major music schools. But that’s just a start. Anyone have ideas for things to do, people to see? Don’t hesitate to propose yourself. My time may be limited, but I’d like to cast my net wide, if I can. 

The debate — here for all the information available so far — will be streamed live. I’ll share details once I have them. 

I’m looking forward to all of this! 

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  1. says

    You should go to nonclassical at LSO St Lukes maybe?

    It sounds like an interesting debate (I’m gonna try and go) but I have to say, Cambridge’s ‘youth of today’ aren’t exactly your typical specimens. There is a tendency throughout the student body (not just the music students) to fetishise prestige and tradition, the ‘old’ and the certified ‘great’ and ‘important’ – hence the formality and the rituals – meaning a lot of the students might particularly value these assumed qualities in classical music. Hence there is a remarkably thriving classical scene, still fascinated with the classical ‘canon’ and in thrall to the overwhelming influence of the many prestigious chapel choirs, and comparatively little general interest in new pop music. So it’s not the most typical student town, and the argument may be a bit skewed, I don’t know, but I suppose it makes a particularly interesting context for this kind of debate.

  2. says

    I hope they invite some young debaters to join both the Proposition and Opposition sides at Cambridge. It seems like talking about what is relevant to youth, without them being represented in the debate, would be missing a good opportunity. I look forward to watching.

  3. Gerard says

    Don’t be a day late! The website lists 12 May for the debate, not the 13th!