Classical Music with Shining Eyes

In the video below, Ben Zander (conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and author of the wonderful book The Art of Possibility) presents an engaging talk/performance to a crowd of 1600.  Very few in the audience are experienced classical music enthusiasts, yet he is celebrated with an enthusiastic standing ovationby the end of this 20 minute presentation. 

Zander’s vision is for a world in which all people get excited by classical music.  His contagious energy, inviting style, and overflowing passion seem to transport everyone within earshot to a deeper and more meaningful artistic experience.

Please note, this is not an intellectual lecture recital (an unfortunate concept that makes me squeal in discomfort, as it surely must for most people).  Far from it.  Instead, it’s an emotional journey encompassing humor, tragedy, and much in between.

Incidentally, The Savvy Musician features a chapter entitled Artistry and Relevance.  It explores extensive ways that musicians can present high quality, sophisticated music to a variety of audience types (including “lay” audiences) and have the experience resonate, connect, and energize.  It asks questions like “Are We Merely Entertainers,” and “Can Classical Music Be Popular,” in addition to a focus on “Re-branding Classical Music.”  In many ways, I feel this chapter contains some of the most valuable information in the book. 

Ben Zander is indeed a savvy musician, working tirelessly to expand the audience for classical music while offering experiences that are both artistic and relevant!

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