We need your help to
#GivingTuesday, November 27, 2018
We hope that our work has challenged and encouraged you, and that the ongoing discussion and the library of content that we are assembling online have benefited your thought life and your musical life too. It has certainly been a great blessing to us to have such work to do. But of course, it is a great deal of work and it has only begun. We need your help to make it to the next level. Video is the fastest-traveling means to spread ideas today. Please consider including the Institute in your giving plans this season. Your contribution will help us to produce and release our first contributions in a series of films that will seed new and surprising answers to the challenges presented to classical music in our modern age – starting with the incredible conversations about the roles of and relationships between orchestras and communities that we documented this year at our conference in Seaside. Make your tax-deductable donation online.
New & Noteworthy
Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them.
It is an important book and one we’ve long argued for because it brings to the consideration of musical matters the indispensable examination of philosophy. And it does so in Sir Roger’s inimitable way, which is exceedingly readable.
“Now we shall get rid of the weight of dead men’s thought, which has hitherto pressed so heavily on the living intellect that it has been incompetent to any effectual self-exertion. Well done, my lads! Into the fire with them! Now you are enlightening the world, indeed!”
Given my experiences in Mexico, my lingering question has been, “Who decided, or why do we feel, that we must upend our programming in order for people of targeted ethnicities to comprehend and enjoy classical music played by a live orchestra?”
It is our great pleasure to announce that Dhiru Thadani has accepted our invitation to join the board of our fledgling Institute. But the truth is that he has been a hard-hitting advocate and champion of our work – as well as an inspiration and our generous teacher – for many years now.
Amid debate on the aesthetics of fragments and the poetics of conceptual and constructional inconsistency and confusion, there are imperative reasons for reclaiming the Classical ideals of integrity, harmony, beauty and reason, for questioning modern architectural production and ideology and re-establishing the validity of architecture as an artistic and intellectual discipline.
“I think that the imaginative component is also desperately needed in this sad world we’re building for ourselves. I think all these little communities are a place for the rebirth of opera. The past and the present in opera can have a rebirth, but I think the key is little concert halls, little opera houses which feed the community. The high school orchestra may not be the New York Philharmonic, but it doesn’t matter.”
Ours is a musical culture. People of all musical tastes and backgrounds understand this. Music marks the passage of our moods, our days, our seasons, our years, and our lives. It brings us together, and it marks out our solitude. It celebrates our achievements and mourns our losses.
And the music itself is common property to all. It is not like, say, a painting that is sold and then belongs only to the purchaser, to hang over a sofa or in a private collection, perhaps to end up one day in a public gallery. You cannot buy a song or a symphony, only an instance of it. You cannot buy a box of chords or key signatures like you can a box of watercolors or pastels.
In fact, the music belongs even to those who haven’t heard it yet. We are trustees of an international treasure, obliged to understand the accident of our existence in this time and place more as a responsibility than an entitlement. This realization takes on a special meaning today for the defenders of music’s classical tradition.
For if it’s true that music is made of what you cannot buy, it is also true that a page of chords and key signatures is not what we enjoy when we enjoy music. We do not dance to sheets of paper covered with notes or recall a melody as ink markings on a staff. Music lives for us as a performance in which we partake, as musicians, as listeners, as dancers. And so the tradition of live performance is the heart of our classical tradition.
Our classical tradition, in turn, is at the heart of all our other musical traditions. What we are about is nothing less than the preservation, in trust, of the tradition of live classical music for the benefit of all posterity.
But we do need your help. Please consider joining us in support of this worthy cause.