Change is difficult, but possible, as well as necessary. It is also exciting. Nobody can possibly know for sure where exactly we are going, or what the answers are. Simply asking the right questions, though, is a huge part of finding those answers. Some of you no doubt recall the question Leonard Bernstein set out to answer in his Norton Lectures at Harvard: “whither music?”. Allow me to add a bold follow-up: “whither orchestras?”. What if it has the same answer Lenny gave to his own question: “yes”? A “yes” that is an invitation, a challenge, a possibility? Who knows? But belief that music can be a catalyst for positive change, and that life’s hardships can be ameliorated by bringing people together with a shared musical experience will take us far.
Excerpt from a lecture at the Royal Philharmonic Society, London, UK – April 15, 2015