The most common practices in classical musical venues today represent a contrite response to a totalitarian belief system no one in America buys into anymore. To participate obediently is to act as a slave. It is counter to our culture. And it is not, I am certain, what composers would have wanted: A musical North Korea. Who but a bondservant would desire such a ghastly fate? Quickly now: Rise to your feet and applaud. The Dear Leader is coming on stage to conduct. He will guide us, ever so worshipfully through the necrocracy of composers we are obliged to forever adore.
The living composers I know though are real people. They bleed just like the rest of us — or more accurately stated, because they are artists willing to put their thoughts into action for our review and criticism, they bleed publicly for us. They drink beers and feel tired and ride subways and dream about a better life. They are human and they want us to share a deeper, richer human experience together with them. They want, in effect, the same things Beethoven wanted.
“One of the most beautiful spectacles is to see men mutually interested in each other, so much so, that like ‘David and Jonathan’ they are ready to sacrifice, even to the laying down of their lives, for their brothers.” - Ossian Everett Mills”—(via sinfonian)