Wolfgang Amadeus wasn’t particularly happy in the city, but
Watching Tony Palmer’s excellent ‘The
What came to my mind was how obviously stuffy classical music can be, and how full of themselves many performers are. Museums are important, but there certainly is life outside their walls. Eventually even the Salzburg Festival was able to, or forced to, depending on one’s view, evolve and modernize its offerings. Many traditionalists naturally protested any change, but isn’t this the case with most major music institutions today with their graying audiences? Evolution happens through experimentation and not every change is a success. However, we cannot often foresee what works and what doesn’t. In business we in this country, as well as in Europe, try to create a finished and final product and then market it. The Japanese model seems to work better: a lot more products enter the store shelves and, like in nature, it is survival of the fittest from that point on.
Teaching means passing on a tradition, hopefully a worthy one. Although I feel like violin playing as an art form reached its climax many decades ago, and luckily I was able to hear some of its greats and even work with some, I try to keep an open mind. At some point, somewhere, the next successful evolutionary step will be taken, even if it won’t happen right now.
Looking at various conductors in the documentary, I realize what a golden time the present is for that profession: so many leading orchestras are in search of new music directors. In addition to Barenboim and Eschenbach leaving, Salonen in