Articles

Sir Roger Scruton: Conservatism and the Conservatory

Future Symphony Institute

The observation is often made that political conservatives do not have anything much to say about the arts, either believing, with the libertarians, that in this matter people should be free to do as they please, or else fearing, like the traditionalists, that a policy for the arts will always be captured by the left and turned into an assault on our inherited values. Of course, there is truth in both those responses; but they are not the whole truth.

unborn child

Composer

Revolution has been the slogan and banner for generations of certain types of creative idealists. But what have these fashionable revolutions to do with a love of life, or even of a love of the poor or the outsider? They seem more concerned with a love of transgression.

Elias Gottlob Haussmann: Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach (detail), 1746.

Future Symphony Institute

Counterpoint in music is like rhyme in poetry: it holds disparate things together in a unity, and at the same time it shows that unity is not simple but composed. Only mastery of counterpoint can make a single chord, sounded in root position for three minutes, into one of the most varied events in music – but that is what Wagner does in the Prelude to Das Rheingold.

engraving of Descartes

Saint John's College

Modernity consists of perversions of notions drawn from Christianity; to be a modern means to be deeply enmeshed in them.

bonfire

yes, that Nathaniel Hawthorne

“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!”

Toluca, Mexico

Future Symphony Institute

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?”

Lucien Steil: Mono no aware, capriccio, 2016.

University of Notre Dame

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.

The new opera house at Rice University, by Allan Greenberg

Future Symphony Institute

“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.”

Edwin Longsden Long: Then to Her Listening Ear Responsive Chords Came Familiar, Sweet and Low, 1881.

Future Symphony Institute

All the concrete, busy activity leading up to the performance is not the music, but only its production apparatus, and it extends far beyond what happens in the concert hall – a massive undertaking by numerous people leading to an ephemeral acoustical rumbling and disappearing into the clatter of, hopefully, happy applause.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens.

Future Symphony Institute

“I wrote to Peter Gelb, whom I know, and I said that the only way you’re going to solve these problems is to tear down that house, which is almost four thousand seats, and build something half the size or less. I am convinced that these very large concert halls are a thing of the past.”

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