Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Composer John Adams, in his recent commencement address at New York’s Juilliard School, speaks up for the fine arts, forcefully and with plain-spoken eloquence.

“A life in the arts,” Adams says, “means a life of sacrifice and tens of thousands of hours of devotion and discipline with scant remuneration and sometimes even scant recognition. A life in the arts means loving complexity and ambiguity, of enjoying the fact that there are no single, absolute solutions. And it means that you value communicating about matters of the spirit over the baser forms of human interaction, because you know that life is not just a transaction, not simply a game about winning someone’s confidence purely for purposes of material gain.”

The full text at NewMusicBox:

(via Alex Ross)