Links We Like: Shaping the Future of Music

Whether it be performing a benefit concert for charity or simply encouraging others to attend a live performance, the future of music depends on the contribution of those who possess the knowledge and the means. As performers and fans of music, we must adapt a selfless approach to preserve an art form that stands as a vital part of our culture. The following stories are inspiring examples of steps being taken by others doing just that:

Bringing Music to Light: Aside from social networks and online encyclopedias, perhaps the most innovative paradigms for seeking information online are what have been coined as online “think tanks”. One such example is Big Think, a site that draws on the knowledge and opinions of experts via interview to explore their specific fields of study. Recently, the website premiered it’s youngest scholar, Hilda Huang, who just so happens to be a pianist and FTT alum, having made her Carnegie Hall debut on the PBS series “From the Top at Carnegie Hall.” Her presence on this site attests not only to her extraordinary talent, but also to the growing importance of music in our society. To watch Hilda discuss the genius of Bach and her love of music, click here.

Hilda with the Cincinnati Pops, taping the From the Top at the Pops CD (Photo: Mark Lyons)

A Silver Lining: While the majority of stories from Iraq are grim, one story brings hope. Guitarist Nashat Majeed has taken brave steps in the name of music, and teaches lessons twice weekly for Iraqi children 11 to 15 years-old. Under the previous regime, music had been forbidden due to its connection with “Western” ideals. Today that ban has been lifted, but Nashat still faces the dangers of militant violence and sectarian activism. Yet Nashat still continues to teach, as he believes in “ the language of music rather than the language of war.” To read more about Nashat’s story, click here.

Two of Nashat's Students Practicing (courtesy CNN Video)

The Artists of Tomorrow: Since 2006, Fidelity Investments has become a major proponent in arts education through its organization Fidelity FutureStage: a competition designed to promote aspiring instrumentalists and vocalists who would otherwise lack the means. Over two thousand public high schools and middle schools were welcomed to compete from participating cities, and the winners were announced this past May. These students were then given performance opportunities, from performing with the renowned orchestras of Boston, Chicago, and Houston, to playing at the Opening Gala of the LA Hollywood Bowl, to being a party of a fully stage Broadway production in New York. To read more about the program and its students, click here.

Jamie Foxx with FutureStage Students receiving brand new instruments (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

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