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IDEAS | On Programming Contemporary Music

21cmediagroup / 15th April 2015 / News

“Again, not entirely stupid, but very likely backfiring in the long run if the new work is shoehorned into a program that is not organically conceived, in which the not-so-subtle subliminal message is that we think it needs to be balanced out or, to be more jaded, that you can ‘get away’ with new music as long as there is something else on the program that will sell tickets.

The worst thing you can do is to program contemporary music for the wrong reasons, out of a sense of duty or whatever. I have in the past stated that I don’t program contemporary music out of a sense of obligation. This has been used against me by some whom I suspect might be deliberately misconstruing my words—what I of course mean is that I truly want to play every single piece I program, and that I feel that every piece has its place in creating the maximum resonance for all the music we play.”

Excerpts from a lecture at the Royal Philharmonic Society, London, UK – April 15, 2015