Articles

Marcus Stone: An Appeal for Mercy (detail), 1793

Future Symphony Institute

The famous French writer Alexis de Tocqueville discerned a permanent danger, which he described in these terms: the tyranny of the majority – that is to say, the danger that every public decision will be taken by the majority for the majority and disregard both the rights of minorities and the possibility of disagreement.

Eastman Johnson: “Play Me a Tune” (detail), 1880

Author of “The Classical Moment”

Music is not an occupation but a celebration of something beyond itself.

Michelangelo: The Creation of Adam

Future Symphony Institute

We have the impression often that truly serious music has, as it were, put its ear to the ground and heard the far-off murmur of the infinite. And that’s the kind of experience you have obviously from things like the openings of Bruckner’s symphonies and the famous opening of Beethoven’s ninth symphony in which the music is saying, “Look, something is speaking through me from far, far away – and you must put your ear to the ground just as I am doing.”

The museum of Military History in Dresden.

Future Symphony Institute

Modernism in architecture and music is very much like the artificial invention of a language, like Esperanto. Esperanto was used by tradesmen and by a very small number of people. But imagine that a very powerful political group took over not just a province or a country, or even a continent, but over the world and imposed Esperanto as a single language, forbidding all other languages and declaring them as purely historical – no longer valid, no longer legitimate for use today. That is what has happened to architecture and even to music.

Sandro Botticelli: The Birth of Venus, 1486

Future Symphony Institute

People misconceive aesthetics when they see it merely as the realm of beauty. And I think people take revenge on beauty because they don’t see that there’s something more important without which there can be no revenge. And that more important thing is just our instinct to get things right, to make things fit in and harmonize. This is where the aesthetic judgment is a fundamental part of our everyday lives; we are making it all the time.

John Kersey

European-American University

Why does today’s Western art music strive so conspicuously for cultural relevance? Why are many of our university music faculties more concerned with cultural theory than with applied music? Why have we lost confidence in historical and applied models of musicology, and moreover in the tonal tradition that forms the basis of the greatest musical heritage known to mankind?

Max Silbert: Gesangsstunde in der Kinderschule, detail, 1907

Future Symphony Institute

I value the musical education that I received, since it did not merely implant in me a love of serious music, but also opened my mind to the way music is composed. It gave me an inside view of the workings of this art, and of the extraordinary part it has had to play in the history of the West.

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