Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Concerts: Do You Watch, Listen, or Experience?

Students, teachers, amateurs, music lovers: Don't underestimate the value of attending live concerts. With the ever-expanding range of technology, my generation often becomes socially isolated. Not in the sense that we don't hang out with friends, but because if we want to hear a fresh musical interpretation, check difficult fingering, or explore technical motions, we don't all flock to a concert; often, we individually search websites like youtube.com to hear and watch Arthur Rubinstein, Martha Algerich, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel, Vladimir Horowitz and so on. But recordings cannot, and never will, adequately capture the subtleties of live acoustics and energy in a hall. It is a unique and exclusive interaction between audience member and performer. Just as you visit friends to see and hear them, it is through a combination of these senses that we want to be entertained, to be moved, to learn, to ponder, and - most of all - to be inspired. From June 20 through June 24, PianoArts gives us this chance to be exhilarated, as young men and women with gifts of great talent perform roughly 15 hours of piano repertoire cumulatively at various locations in Milwaukee. For students growing in music, this is invaluable. It is self-evident that we do not attend concerts to remind them of what music sounds like. We go to experience something fresh, live, and unpredictable. We go because we crave excellence. We admire beauty. We appreciate intellectual thoughtfulness. We go to inspire our imagination and see artists fulfill their dreams.

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