Earl Arnett, Moderator, Peabody Conservatory of Music Criticism Faculty
James Pritchett, Musicologist
Stephen Wigler, Baltimore Sun
Kyle Gann, Village Voice
Robert Haskins, Columbia Flier
With the approach of the millennium, questions about the future of music seem to be on the minds of critics, academicians, and musicians. At the beginning of the year, New York Times music critic, Edward Rothstein, observed that “we are entering a different era, an odd, uncertain fin-de-siècle.”Adding to this uncertainty is the rise of digital technology in the 1980s and with it the question of how technology will fit in with the concert music of the next century. We live in a world where electronic instruments, home computers, and other technological aids are being assimilated by a large population. How will this impact concert music? Will these technologies affect how music is presented?
The critics assembled for this event are from diverse backgrounds so as to provide several different points of view on the future of music. Some of the questions to be asked of the panelists include:
What is your vision of the nature and role of music in the Twenty-first century?
Do you think that the terms “art music” and “serious music” will have meaning in the future, or will such current distinctions disappear?
With the development of home theaters, multi-media technologies, and holographic presentations, how do you see the future significance of live performances? Orchestras?
As computers make it increasingly easy for all of us to manipulate sounds and make music, how do you see the role of musical training and education in the 21st century? Will computers make us all musicians? What opportunities will there be for professional. composers and players in the next century?
In a world of many musics from diverse cultures around the planet, how are we to choose between good and bad music? Does anything go, or can we establish useful criteria for judging music? Should we judge music?
Does the development of the music video mean that we will listen to music, always accompanied by visual images, or will there be interest in the twenty-first century for unadorned sounds, significant in themselves?