Composer: we’re hard-wired to appreciate classical music

Posted on: October 23, 2015

“The prejudice that classical music is merely a substitutable commodity and a tiny minority’s pastime has gained ground,” writes composer Unsuk Chin in Wednesday’s (10/21) Guardian (London). “How to attract audiences in our pluralist times? … I think that the potential audience for complex classical music is much larger than commonly expected…. Advanced music, as a whole-brain activity, can elevate us from our daily routines… It’s a source of contemplation direly needed in our times of information overkill and consumerism…. [In] my own childhood in the South Korea of the 1960s …life was marked by poverty and repressive structures.… I was lucky—through a number of coincidences I got access to classical music…. The heroes of my youth—besides British pop bands—were Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Not for a minute did the thought occur to me that I was wasting my time with ‘dead white males.’ … The problems back then were completely different than those [today]. And yet, something remains universally valid: the natural, hard-wired inclination children have towards complex classical music…. No matter how little access grownups might themselves have to classical music, they should at least give kids a chance to form their own taste and knowledge.”

Posted October 23, 2015