Why young people still care about classical music – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted by Google News | Industry News | lunes 29 julio 2013 11:06 pm

Perhaps this accounted for the intensity of the engagement I felt in that
lecture room. Classical music wasn’t offered as something rarefied, to
be savoured by connoisseurs who are “in the know.” It was part
of a great story of how we in the West have tried to make sense of
ourselves, as human beings. The tone of the lectures helped in that regard.
Rather than presenting our subjects as great monuments of culture, we were
all keen to stress their human qualities. I tried to show how classical
music didn’t drop from heaven fully-formed; it’s an untidy mix of many different
distinguishing features, which keep changing through time. Professor Frank
Furedi presented Thomas Hobbes not as some transcendent disembodied genius,
but as someone wrestling with the concrete political circumstances of the
turbulent times he lived through.

The result was eager curiosity, which paid due homage to these great figures
of the past, while refusing to be intimidated by them. When the lectures
were over we all chatted into the small hours at the conference centre bar,
and I found myself challenged on several fronts. One young man was
determined to show the features I’d identified as peculiarly classical can
be found in other kinds of music.
And yet he was willing to concede on one or two points. In all it was a
heartening and invigorating weekend, which made me think about Bertrand
Russell’s advice to anyone about to undertake a university education:
don’t be afraid to challenge authority. He was only half-right. Of
course students should challenge authority. But first they have to know what authority
is, and how it can be honestly earned through intellectual distinction and
moral strenuousness. It isn’t just a case of “the system” trying to
pull the wool over the eyes of eager and idealistic youth.

The Institute of Ideas’ Battle of Ideas takes place at the Barbican
Centre London on 19 and 20 October 020 7638 4141; battleofideas.org.uk

Source Article from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalmusic/10209253/Why-young-people-still-care-about-classical-music.html

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