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.

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...

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...

June 29, 2016

Recently, Chamber Music America released a short promotional video under the title “Why Chamber Music?” After watching it I felt compelled to add my point of view: 

Why Chamber music?  

Because chamber music is a unique reflection of life experience. It powerfully illuminates a universal tension between personal agency and one’s role in a larger group. It is also perhaps one of the most life affirming and hopeful art forms, because it shows how something greater than sum of individual parts can be produced through collaboration of willing parties without coercion or competition. 

Because it...

February 12, 2016

The recent conversation about the Super Bowl Half Time show raised a few questions for me, which I want to share:

  1. Isn’t suggesting that classical music needs to embrace the popular culture and adopt itself to it in order to survive deeply conformist and, as such, antithetical to the spirit of artistic pursuit based in honest striving for excellence, authenticity and depth?

  2. In the world filled with short, simplistic pop songs, isn’t complex narrative of classical music a phenomenon that is truly radical and challenging to the status quo in ways no less important than political statement...

October 29, 2015

I recently read  about musicians inviting audience members to sit on stage among performers during a concert in order to make the experience of listening to live music more engaging. I think that instead of enhancing the experience, this actually ends up substituting it for a completely different one. It is as different as watching an opera, ballet or a play from the audience seat verses being part of the action on stage. While the novelty of "participatory" experience can be exciting, and it may even lead a person to develop a false sense of competency, it really has very little resemblance t...

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