INITIATIVE: “Fantasy Notes” – Contemporary Piano at Moving Classics TV 2017/2018

Who is your favorite contemporary classical composer? Confronted with this question, many of us are puzzled. Classical music seems to be the domain of grand masters of the past like Bach and Beethoven, with some 20st century exceptions like Shostakovich. If you look into the world of literature, the bestseller list is all contemporary writers! The most watched movies are to the great extent produced within the last couple of years. The galleries are full of visitors when the contemporary artists present their work and even the ballet can be proud of contemporary choreography. Only music seems to be the most conservative of all! The best sold CDs still feature Chopin and Liszt. You can have a quick look through some concert venues in your places. No doubt, you will find truly beautiful programs but I bet you will mostly see the same compositions by the history composers of the past. It reminds me of the Alex Ross from the Guardian who wittily noticed: ““The music profession today became focused on the manic polishing of a display of masterpieces” Why does the audience prefer the same old compositions? I found some interesting insights in Internet blogs and forums. One possible sociological explanation is that music is always an acquired taste. The mechanism of an acquired taste works through our family habits, our education and upbringing. Through hearing the music once and relating to it. Then saving it in our brain to recognize it again when the opportunity arises and experience the same emotion. Like every emotional state, it is all very volatile. How often do we change our opinion about the melody, depending on the time of the day or our mood? I always thought that listening to music could be compared with managing our own expectations. The length of the piece in time units is our subjective feeling of time. Here we have the relativity. I like the comparison with driving a car. Imagine two roads with the same length but one is a familiar road back home and another one is a new road we drive for the first time. Our time perceptions will differ. Usually the first road would seem shorter. A new road might be a fun ride full of discovery, but it will still seem longer. Hearing the piece for the first time with unknown harmonies or rhythms can be compared to a walk in forest at night. Another thought by Alex Ross who says “ because concert audiences are essentially trapped in their seats for a set period, they tend to reject unfamiliar work more readily than do gallery visitors, who can move about freely, confronting strange images at their own pace. “ It brings a big smile to my face when I read about the hard times Brahms or Chopin experienced being emerging composers. Their works were rejected with the same reasoning we would give to any aspiring composer. (“New works do not succeed in Leipzig,” a critic said of the premiere of Brahms’s First Piano Concerto in 1859.) Monet’s beautiful impressionistic pictures were turned down by Paris art exhibitions. So he was courageous enough to organize his own events! Classical music in 21st century is much richer than during the times of big Romantic composers. We have a tremendous diversity of styles, different combinations of genres and elements. Imagine how exciting it is to witness the birth of a new composition and be able to talk to the person who created it, to hear what he wanted to say and who he or she is. So many interesting composers deserve more attention! They live our times and reflect it in their music! Their compositions are also our music. Moving Classics TV team is searching for new ways in classical music. With our new initiative “Fantasy Notes – Contemporary Piano Music” we want to discover what living composers have to offer in terms of piano music. Contemporary music is vital if classical music is to survive and grow. As any Internet projects, the success of it depends on the active participation of Internet community. We will be sharing special blogs with interviews where the composers write about their approach to music and their sources of inspiration, about creative process, about their goals and future projects. This way the future audience could learn more about the artists and see who is behind the music. Sometimes it could be a missing link for a better appreciation of their composition. Moving Classics TV is going to share new recordings at our website and in social media. I would like to encourage you to try it, listen and share your thoughts. I am very excited about open dialogue with all of you. If you have any suggestions, ideas or …compositions, please contact me at