Happy new year, everyone! I've been slow restarting here. Much holiday travel and happiness, and a weekend in our country house, flying Rafa's new remote control helicopter clear over the roof.
And then preparations for my spring semester Juilliard course, Classical Music in an Age of Pop. The link takes you to last year's class schedule, with all assignments, but this year's will be reasonably similar. For a shorter read, here's a course overview.
…I'll tease some upcoming blog posts…
How will we know when classical music is truly back, when it's been reborn, when the crisis we're having now is truly over?
Answer: We'll see a new, young, paying audience filling our halls. And we'll see new classical pieces that matter in the wider culture, that have as much impact as Hamilton.
Do we believe these things are possible?
If not, why not?
If we don't believe these things can happen, how can we believe that classical music can ever matter again? I mean matter to the world at large, as it used to in past generations. When so often it set the tone for the culture at large.
And finally…what would have to change to make our mark on the world this year.
Comments welcome. I was a bit amazed when, on Facebook, some people seemed to think it would demean classical music to make a mark on the outside world, the way (an example I gave) Hamilton has.
But how could that be? If a classical piece changed the course of our culture, wouldn't that mean classical music now was central to our world, and really made a difference?
Or do we believe that, in our time — very much in contrast to past generations — classical music has to stand outside the culture. Because it's exalted and complex, while the culture at large is simplistic and shallow.
If that's true, then our culture has badly devolved in the past century or so. Once it was good enough to take leadership from classical music, but now somehow it isn't. Making classical music a pocket of resistance, a stubborn remnant of better times, a small spark of future hope.
That makes no sense to me. But apparently it does to others. Comments welcome!
Original Content: Getting back on track