November 09, 2011
It’s been said that musicians should not meddle in politics. It is significantly less dangerous to engage in pure art.” – Gidon Kremer
When musicians step beyond the role of artist and into the role of activist, they bring attention to themselves in a way that almost certainly alienates some part of their audience. Matt Haimovitz supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. Does that impact your decision to listen or not listen to his music?
Musicians have the monumental task of learning how to effectively reach people with their art. This requires a great deal of introspection and strong sense of identity unique to them based on their life experiences. With such developed means of communication and defined awareness of self, it makes sense that they use their talent to overtly express more than strictly musical content.
In the article attached, Gidon Kremer appeals to the artistic community calling for action and response to one’s conscience. Do artists have a duty to be politically charged? It’s a slippery slope and most musicians don’t mess around with it. People often turn to music as an escape. The last thing they want to see in a concert hall is another reminder of what’s wrong in the world. Right?
by Allegra Montanari
View at Chicago Classical Music