Purpose and Contemporary Music

As if they could read my mind after my last post on Purpose and classical music experiences, San Francisco Classical Voice came out with the following article on the New Music Paradox. Some of the language used is fascinating.

“One reason why,” says Deborah Borda,” the L.A. Philharmonic’s president and CEO, “is that contemporary music is not nearly as doctrinaire as it used to be. As great as they were, the years of Milton Babbitt, Elliot Carter, and Roger Sessions are over. It’s a different ethos now that crosses borders and is more accessible. I don’t mind saying that a new work is accessible. We want people to come. I also think,” she adds reflectively, “judging by the period we’re entering, there are going to be a lot more pieces with a distinctly political message.”

I love the way Borda has phrased this. By saying explicitly, ‘We want people to come’ and also ‘there are going to be a lot more pieces with a distinctly political message’, she is being upfront about the Purpose that their audience might have for listening to the music. (And also slyly inferring that the older generation of contemporary music composers may not have had audience access in mind.)

 

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