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March 4, 2019

This season, the Mondavi Center released the first edition of its magazine, Gateway. Mondavi Center Executive Director Don Roth’s contribution, “16 Years On: Reflections on Classical Music,” looks back on sentiments about the state of classical music in America that he shared at the Aspen Music Festival’s convocation in 2002.

To read Don's full article from Gateway, click on the image below:

Gateway Magazine Cover"It is a tall order to shift the cultural paradigm of our country, so that classical music moves from the margins to the center of our collective experiences. What can each one of us involved in this great enterprise do?  First  of  all,  let’s stop apologizing and rationalizing. In particular, I think it is a big mistake to focus on non-musical reasons for the  importance of classical music. Maybe Mozart  may  make you smarter, just as spinach may make you stronger.   That certainly doesn’t make anyone like spinach.   These are pretty shallow rationalizations for what is in fact one of the most deeply powerful products of our human soul and  imagination."

As the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields celebrates its 60th anniversary, it is looking back on its past and revisiting some of its “firsts.” In touring with Jeremy Denk, the orchestra signals a delightfully forward-facing approach to its retrospective celebration. Denk, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship winner, is known for playing that is both intellectually engaged and emotionally expansive. In addition, he has proven himself a great communicator about classical music and the life of a musician through his blog, articles in Jeremy Denkthe New Yorker and various other media appearances. This combination of a revered ensemble and a progressive soloist embodies the Mondavi Center’s belief that we can’t be content to produce the same thing over and over again in a way that only those who are already “in the classical music club” can understand; that is how great works become tired. Music of all varieties is constantly reinvigorated by those that perform it, a process that forges new paths for artists and audience members alike to engage with these treasures of humanity. 

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields perform with Jeremy Denk at the Mondavi Center on March 8, 2019. For more information and tickets, click HERE.