A growing library of lectures, documentaries, and shorts – some of which we produced, some we just discovered – that we hope will carry ideas and plant seeds far and wide.
If those of us in the world of classical music will look closely, we will see in the mistakes and failures of modern architecture and urban planning the reflection of our own mistakes – the ones we are still enthusiastically making every day, without any thought to the idea that they might be, in the end, mistakes. On the other hand, the spectacular successes of New Urbanism and the revival of classical architecture provide us with a real model of recovery.
Introduction to the Principles of New Urbanism for the Symphony Orchestra
Place-making is really at the heart of every project. There’s a recognizable place – an address – that everything is measured off of. There’s a clear center to the neighborhood: whether it’s a park or a public space, it’s something that’s recognizable as the center of the neighborhood.
Thoughts on the small-town concert hall
The distance people will come is relative to the time that you can occupy them. For example, if all you need is to buy something at 7-11, it has to be on the way, because it only occupies you for two minutes. But a to farmer’s market that occupies you for an hour, you’ll drive an hour. And if you can assemble this magic element, which is called “the whole Saturday afternoon” – in which there is the beach, drinks, a concert, and dinner – they’ll actually drive two to three hours for that.
Places for Music
Hypocrisy used diplomatically can help to create peace within a society. But hypocrisy applied to art is a complete disaster and will lead to the destruction of art. When you do not say openly what you think it leads to confusion. When you tell a jerk who doesn’t know nothing about art that he’s a great genius, you are lying!
Places for Music: Evolution and Experimentation across 25 Years
Transparency is about looking out, but it’s also about looking in and about the sense that the community within the room can be visible from the outside, as well. It’s about this idea of extending an olive branch to the whole town and saying this is a space that everybody is welcome in. We think is an important opportunity for building community within music.
Temples for Music and Music for Temples
The symphony is the progeny of the temple. And the church continues to accomodate music. The renewal of traditional cities and classical culture must be accompanied by the richness of classical architecture.
Concert Halls of David M. Schwarz Architects
Obviously, halls are build to cement a legacy and to stoke and to assuage egos. But if the people of the city fall in love with the building, they will use it and reuse it, and reuse it. And that’s really one of the best attributes of a good concert hall, I think – people really fall in love with it.
How We Got Here
To borrow the phrase from Tolstoy, all successful orchestras are alike; each struggling orchestra struggles in its own way. And yet, beneath the variable surface layer composed of business tactics and community-relevance initiatives, there is an underlying theme to the struggle that all orchestras today share. It is the same struggle that engages classical music itself.
In Defense of Elitism
Sir Roger Scruton
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.
The Trouble with Goodness
James Matthew Wilson
Thanks to developments that have been underway not for years but centuries, persons in our time find it impossible to credit the idea of intrinsic goods. Things may be good for something, this we readily see, but we become at best uncomfortable and at worst incredulous that anything should be good in itself. If this is correct, then orchestras are in a dire condition indeed.
The Fear of Backwardness
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.
Music and the Transcendental
Sir Roger Scruton
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.”
Tradition and Maintaining Excellence
We asked our major donors directly if we could count on their continued financial support for the downsizing plan to become a regional orchestra. The results were unanimous: nobody would give us the same amount or anything close to it for a lesser orchestra. Most wouldn’t contribute anything at all. We were built on excellence and that’s what we needed to be.