August 18, 2019

While we are living at a time of tremendous cultural change which includes virtual disappearance of traditional forms of employment for classical musicians, there is an opportunity to find new deeper relevance beyond culturally marginalized vintage form of entertainment it has become.

January 2, 2019

Ya-Ting and I have visited Disney World for Christmas this year and had a fantastic time. In addition to exhilarating shows, flavorful food, imaginative rides and whimsical surroundings, I came back with a new appreciation for the level of coordination and complexity required to deliver high quality experience to so many people consistently. 

While being a business selling products and services, Disney has to rise above just those functions to offer a unique and multifaceted experience in order to justify the cost of visiting its parks for people who travel from all over the world. 

As a pro...

December 17, 2018

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”- Winston Churchill 

This holiday season in addition to many blessings in my life, I celebrate a realization that if Americans have given voluntarily 410 billion to nonprofits in 2017 while involuntarily spending 610 billion in taxes to support defense, it means that despite all of the polarization, we live in a country of fundamentally decent, generous people.

The disillusionment is easy in a complex and confusing world where sometimes environmental activists have their pension funds invested in oil companies while vegan paci...

February 16, 2018

In the last 25 years, globalization and technological advancements have brought tremendous changes to every field of human endeavors. For the arts, the challenge of adapting to these changes is significant, but so is an opportunity to discover new ways of creating meaning in the lives of artists and the communities they serve. 

In the last few years, conservatories, as well as schools of art in colleges and universities, have been experimenting with ways of addressing an increasing uncertainty of the future career paths of their graduates. There is a considerable pressu...

February 1, 2018

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known." - Oscar Wilde

Being involved with presenting arts organizations, as well as music education in formats ranging from college to outreach, I am constantly reminded by friends and colleagues in the field about the steadily increasing pressure to adopt to the 21st century challenges and values. I think this topic has implications well beyond music education. I am sure Harvard faculty is asking themselves (or at least they should) questions about what possible value can undergraduate student expect to receive from four years o...

January 18, 2018

It has occurred to me recently that arts nonprofits and politicians have something in common. They share decreasing audience and over-reliance on a shrinking pool of donors. Perhaps participation decline in live performing arts events and in political process shares some causes. I wonder if the time people used to spend on attending a concert, a play or considering political platform of a candidate is now spent on social media, surfing internet and binge watching TV.

This abdication of personal agency leaves a dangerous vacuum where perhaps few people than ever in history will be able to exerc...

June 27, 2017

I have recently come across this TED talk and while I agree with many points made in it, the questions on my mind are more about what implications this seismic shift has for professional arts education. With the destruction of traditional revenue streams such as recording sales and subscriptions, with rise of technology as the biggest competition to the live performing arts, with democratization of means of production in art through technology what incentive is there for someone to pursue performing arts degree? 

If the audience for the performing art will primarily be motivated by ei...

November 23, 2016

Every year I write a Thanksgiving post about things I am grateful for. This year it is rather specific, because recently I had a wonderful opportunity to go on a Market Square Concerts’ 35th Anniversary trip to London. It has been 25 years since my last visit for a performance at the BBC Promps, so it was airport-hotel-Albert Hall-hotel-airport kind of visit.  

The richness of cultural offerings fitting to a capital of the formerly largest empire in the world was invigorating and I loved the experience, especially since I was able to share it with my wife!

To me, art in many ways reveals mo...

October 3, 2016

Confirmation Bias

I’ve had a very interesting few weeks performing and presenting very different music to very different audiences.

Participating in a 9/11 Memorial concert, performing for a couple of very different chamber music series and presenting an early music ensemble at the opening of another made me realize just how much context matters to people’s ability to engage in meaningful ways with music. I love talking to people, and it is fascinating how a complex Bartok Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion presented in a 9/11 Memorial concert can genuinely move people, who would otherwise nev...

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