Anton Weinberg, on demise of true musical interpretation in classical training

Check out Anton Weinberg's site. He's got lots of great quotes about music and musicality.

He responded to my post about the future of serious classical music on Facebook.

Classical music is in the formative years of a death of a culture which has, in part, been brought about by the emphasis on technique rather than interpretation. The development of a certain stylistic personality in young musicians is a testament to the self deluded training that now inhabits our conservatoires and poses as musicianship.

That's a pretty radical statement, and one with which I agree somewhat. I believe that the "art" of music making is now becoming the "business" of music making. I would ask why What can be done to remedy the problem?

What do you think?

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2 comments for “Anton Weinberg, on demise of true musical interpretation in classical training

  1. April 28, 2010 at

    I agree that "art" has been overtaken by "business". In large part I believe that it's due to the belief that in order to land a job you need to be technically perfect. If the goal is to use music as a vehicle for a career, and if the above perception is accurate it's no wonder that style and musicianship get left behind. Further, if even a fraction of the people at the top of the field have arrived at their positions by pursuing technique before interpretation, they might very well encourage their students to follow a similar path. I think that part of the solution to this problem is to teach music students (especially performance majors) how to do more than one thing. For instance, if they were required to learn more about composition or improvisation, they might be in a better position to get into a composers head when it comes to interpretation.

    • April 29, 2010 at

      Wow. Great comment Adam. Along those lines, I feel that musicians need to learn about all the arts, to gain a varied perspective on the nature of aesthetics. As you suggest, a more well rounded education would certainly help. But competition dictates a narrow focus in a "survival of the most technically perfect", which students must respond to or fail to succeed.

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