The crowd hums with expectation. A sea of grey covers the terrain of the stalls, whilst a bell tolls, signaling the imminent downbeat. The lights dim - the ever so mildly restless crowd hushes. It’s time.
But first, an announcement - ‘please ensure your mobile phones are turned off.’
The Maestro emerges to loud, rapturous applause. Or perhaps the orchestra emerges first, followed by the designated tuner, then followed by the Maestro. Either way, a lot of applause happens to signify appreciation for something that hasn’t yet occurred.
Silence again, and boom goes the orchestra. Read More
We’ve all been there - musicians, that is. Generally, sitting down somewhere: be it at a world famous concert hall listening to a professional performer smashing away at a piece we’ve played; a masterclass we should have signed up for; early for your lesson and listening to the previous victim; or even just listening to some friends run through repertoire.
‘I could do that better.’ Read More
The steady descent started with the first recording.
Think about it. What is music for us now? Music is the most readily available commodity in our lives. It plays on the subway trains from a caustic mixture of headphones, buskers, and inconsiderate narcissists and their varied speaker systems. It is in every shop, restaurant, grocery store, cafe, even on the street when cars drive past with their windows down. It creates a space for every individual with a set of headphones that is completely hermetic and cut off from those around them. It is on our laptops, computers, phones, soundsystems. It is purchased, it is streamed, it is unconsciously absorbed. Read More
A few years ago, I was in repertoire class in Adelaide, when a postgraduate student was asked to play a piece by Beethoven she had been working on for us. Her response has stayed with me ever since:
“I wouldn’t want to do Beethoven a disservice.” Read More
A full listening list from the talk given at Festival No. 6: Not So Classical. Read More
In July 2014, I posted some early, perhaps naive thoughts on the music industry. Two years later, after countless conversations with current students and recent graduates, I have finally sat down and penned Part 2: Conservatoires are too Conservative. Read More
Part One of a six part dossier. In recent times, musicians and music lovers alike have been writing the obituary for classical music. Classical record companies are faltering, concerts are lesser and lesser frequented, and general interest is low. The flashpoint for classical musicians is now, and it's either evolve with the times, or face complete irrelevancy.
So here's how we're going to do it. Read More