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Vol. 2: The Path of New Musicians

The Muse Dialogue offers a series from the point of view of a group of young musicians. All possess tremendous talents, and their accomplishments are many already. Yet they face an uncertain future when looking at the field of classical music. TMD explores the world as seen by these emerging artists in this series, “The Path of New Musicians.”

“Art Creators: The Anxiety of Millenials,” by Annabelle Clippinger

Annabelle Clippinger is an arts professional, both as a creative writer and an arts administrator as the Director of PITT ARTS. Yet she is also the parent of a talented young violinist, a senior in high school who now contemplates entering a conservatory. What are parent and child to do as they face this step?

“The Classical Musician’s Paradigm Shift,” by Annie Gordon

We know that audiences are declining, and so classical music organizations respond with innovative presentations, non-traditional performances, and clever marketing approaches. While well intentioned, such efforts miss the real problem in the opinion of Annie Gordon. She argues that the very mindset of classical musicians must change first before any substantial change is possible with audience trends. “As musicians, we are preventing our own art from flourishing because we do not value with equal intensity our roles as music educators and mentors.”

“The Power of Will, the Power of Genius” by Kristine Rominski

Rominski argues that although genius might be required, it is not the only necessary ingredient to great art. Perhaps not even the most important one. Rominski is a flutist currently in conservatory, and she offers a very personal look at the willpower behind musicianship.

“A Question of Arts Survival” by Andrew Swensen

Swensen asks the question of whether generational shifts may imperil certain art forms. Even if Millenials do support the arts, does that mean that they will continue to support all art forms? He writes, “The matter for me is not just about “arts marketing.” No, this is a question of the survival of art forms in the face of demographic shifts and concurrent shifts in participation.”

“Seeking the Love of Music That I Once Felt” by Erin Yanacek

Erin Yanacek fell deeply in love with music at the age of 12 and soon yearned to make a career of it. Now in her twenties, with many accomplishments in conservatory training already achieved, she finds herself painfully separated from that initial love. What happens when an artist faces the prospect of alienation from their art because of the demands of the profession, when technique training eclipses artistic expression? The problem is not new, but it is a particularly challenging one for young classical musicians, who have demanding practice schedules and daunting prospects regarding available positions.

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