21st Century Music in Society: The Challenges of Modernist Music

APR 18, 2012 | 6:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


April 18, 2012: 6:30 PM




Free, reservations required


Public Programs


212-817-8215 or


21st-Century Music in Society: The Lloyd Old and Constance Old Lectures is a series of talks and debates by major cultural figures addressing the changing consumption, creation, context, and valuations of music in modern society. They are presented by the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation.

Celebrated pianist and writer Charles Rosen, author of the acclaimed The Classical Style and frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, has been a staunch advocate of new music for many years. Some examples of his conviction put into practice include the premiere of Elliott Carter’s Double Concerto and the first performance of Boulez’s Eclats/Multiples, conducted by the composer. Relating avant-garde music to other art forms that defy conventionality, while providing live musical illustrations from the piano, Rosen will assess the impact of contemporary music in the 21th century. His talk will explore such issues as the role played by public and private institutions; the responsibility of education in keeping the arts alive (especially "highbrow" forms of artistic expression); the divide between commercial popular music and the concert experience; the role of technology and mass media; and the increasing difficulty of art’s accessibility from the 18th century until today, especially the formal challenges of complex modern music for the listener.

The lecture will be followed by a conversation with Daniel J. Wakin, culture reporter for the New York Times. Questions will be welcomed from the audience.