Presented by Timothy Weiss, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles
I fundamentally believe that art, and specifically music, is a reflection of our human experience. It is the totality of the art form—whether it’s in the streets, in the night club, in the concert hall, or in the academy—that collectively reflects the human condition. Our nation and our story are illuminated by a panoply of different cultures, ideas, and ways of making music. If we are so bold to think of classical music as an important part of cultural life, then we need to include the panoply of voices that exist within classical music—dead or alive; known or unknown; black, brown, or white; woman, trans, or male; new developing voices or senior established voices.
So, where is classical music today? What changes have already occurred in the last thirty years? How can classical music adequately be a reflection of the human experience if it is predominantly amplifying white, European male, and mostly dead voices?
We are not just inheritors and interpreters of a tradition. We define the tradition by the choices we make. And, we must use our agency for change to pass on an art form, both to audiences and students, that is broader, more inclusive, and more socially engaged than the one we inherited.