Articles

Giorgio Vasari: Six Tuscan Poets

Future Symphony Institute

It is a common criticism today, as it was in 1341, that to look “backwards” is to look upon something old and decrepit, outdated and dilapidated. Time for us moves only forward, and so paradoxically, while our civilization grows old, it is our past that we label as aged and the day itself as eternally young.

Michelangelo: Pietà in the Basilica di San Pietro

Westminster Institute

Anyone who has tracked the self-destruction of music over the past half century has to be astonished at the outpouring of such explicitly religious music and at its enormously popular reception. Can the recovery of music be, at least partially, a product of faith?

Mozart graffiti

Composer

The notion that music has properties and powers that can sharpen the mind and transform the soul is ancient. Such ideas formed the basis of Confucian civilization in China. In the West, they are attributed to Pythagoras and his followers and played a central role in Plato’s ideal state.

Het Concertgebouw. Image credit: Jean-Paul Opperman.

International Arts Manager

“Our mission is to enrich and connect people with a sublime musical experience – that’s what we do. What this means is that it’s not only the music that should be sublime, but everything about Concertgebouw should be sublime.”

Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, New York. Image credit: Bilyana Dimitrova.

University of Pennsylvania

We have become used to concert halls that make big bold statements: the looming sculptural forms of the Philharmonie in Paris, the metallic sails of Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the giant glass barrel vault of the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The Kleinhans is curiously elusive.

A view of the Market Square in Old Town, Krakow, Poland.

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

What do amateurs – all fairly serious ones, but also people who make their living outside of the music world – glean from a week spent inundated by one piece of music?

Jeanne Rongier's 1885 painting “César Franck at the console of the organ at St. Clotilde Basilica, Paris, 1885.

Future Symphony Institute

Postwar modernism and its hip progeny, in combination with the expensive cost of operation for orchestras and opera houses, created barriers which hinder renewal of the repertoire – a self-destructive mix, pushing classical music into the corner as a “museum culture.”

A symphony concert somewhere near Potocki Palace, Warsaw, in 2011. Image credit: Les Panchyshyn.

Future Symphony Institute

Selling music in wrapping paper which belies its nature will inevitably lead to disappointment: potential new audiences – especially the younger generations without much exposure to classical music – will feel cheated when they find out that a Mahler symphony does not sound at all like heavy metal or hip-hop.

Engraving of the Bayreuth Festival Theater, 1875.

Interbrand

Organizations wanting to extract immense, even disproportionate, value from their brands must, like Wagner, work as polymaths; they must be great storytellers, impeccable orchestrators, innovative designers, consummate engineers, as well as uncompromising perfectionists.

Edgar Degas: L'orchestre de l'opera (detail), 1870.

Future Symphony Institute

In a time where all the parameters of our civilization are shifting, and especially considering the current rise of populism everywhere in the Western world, it is of the greatest importance that the nature and purpose of classical music be articulated and argued – that it be protected from erosion and attacks based upon ignorance and misunderstanding.

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