David Robertson: “Classical music is alive and well”

Posted on: August 14, 2013


David Robertson, music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of Australia’s Sydney Symphony, is the focus of two in-depth media stories. “The American conductor next year begins his five-year term as chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony,” writes Matthew Westwood in Saturday’s (8/10) Weekend Australian. “Concertgoers are really only starting to find out about their new musician-in-chief: a bodysurfer from California with far-ranging enthusiasm and a gifted way of making musical abstractions vivid and real…. ‘A lot of the work that I do is about trying to help people learn things and play things better,’ Robertson says…. ‘It’s very important to understand the physics and psychoacoustics of music: what it is that people hear and how they hear it. This leads to studying the brain at cell level and then to how it works at higher-level intelligence.’ ” On Tuesday (8/13) at NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog, Robertson speaks with reporter Tom Huizenga about the challenge of balancing new and old music. … “You have to be aware that when you are writing a large symphonic work, that you are stepping into a river that is already flowing with many pieces that are coming down the line…. I feel frustrated sometimes talking about classical music because most people pretend that classical music nowadays should work the same way it did during the time when we had an NBC Symphony Orchestra. And classical music is alive and well, and all over the place, but it is not following models of previous generations because it is following the models of today’s generations, which are radically different.”

Posted August 14, 2013

Photo of David Robertson by Dilip Vishwanat