Since I declared my independence from the conventions surrounding classical music performance two years ago, many of my friends, colleagues, and fellow musicians have joined the Revolt with me.
It is a rather peculiar transformation for me to observe. I feel like I am liberating my fellow performers. It’s almost as if my example gave them the permission they needed to follow their bliss and take on projects that were before inconceivable to them. I’m proud to say that whenever someone presents a new idea to me, (regardless of my own gut reaction) I do my best to encourage them and to offer whatever advice I can to help them get closer to their dreams.
I hate, and have always hated the word no. In all the hare-brained projects and schemes I came up with in childhood, I would go nuts when someone told me that it couldn’t be done. Not the kind of “no” your parents tell you when they are trying to prevent you from doing something that could hurt you, or the no that means you are not allowed to do something. This was the kind of nagging skeptical “no” that always seemed to want to shoot an idea down before it ever had time to take flight on its own. To the skeptics of my past, and the ones in my present– I continue to balk in your face.
New ideas are fragile, timid things. They need research, positive reinforcement, and encouragement from others. When I started challenging the conventions that surround the way we perform classical music, many of my peers at Manhattan School of Music looked at me as if I was from a different planet. But I relentlessly asked why? Why? WHY? WHY!?!? Because I realized that much of how we present classical music to audiences is leftover from generations ago. To preserve the music– that is most important to our cultural heritage. But to preserve how we dress, what we say, and how we act on stage– this was only contributing to the demise of classical music in the popular opinion.
So slowly but surely my friends would come to me asking my opinion on new projects or looking for a new angle to examine an old problem. That is when I began to learn that I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see change. I wasn’t the only one who thought that things could be done differently, with more innovation and better than we were doing them. So I decided to encourage and to empower. I promote entrepreneurialism in music, I believe that if you have an idea you want to share with the world, then gather your resources and share it.
So now my platform reaches more people than ever, and my message is still the same. Embrace your creativity and imagination in all that you do, make your work authentic. I will always encourage your new ideas because that is what the music world needs most right now. More and more musicians are waking up and seeing that the status quo in the classical music world is not good enough anymore. There are new discoveries to make, and new uncharted paths to follow.