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  • Friday, February 6, 2009
    John Adams Encourages Focus on Early Music Appreciation
    Margaretta Mitchell

    Shortly after Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, the Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed offered the new President a list of "rich, wise, inclusive original voices" he might invite to the White House to signal his commitment to the arts. "I guarantee your life will be richer and the tone of America will rise if you listen to them," wrote Swed.

    Among these artists were a number of Nonesuch artists, including composer John Adams. Others have even suggested the appointment of an arts czar. And whether or not The White House heeds any of this advice, Adams himself suggests that, with all the demands currently weighing on the President, being the nation's primary artistic promoter probably shouldn't be chief among them.

    In an interview with Newsweek's Seth Colter Walls, Adams explains that, while the federal government should certainly do more to fund the arts, through organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts—"That's one of the great disgraces, that our federal budget for the arts is laughably small."—music appreciation has to start on a much more basic level, early on.

    "[T]he one and only way to interest people in classical music is to get them to play it as children," Adams asserts. "I think people should just be exposed all the time to great art. That sounds like a really simple, grandiose statement, but I think it's really true."

    Read the interview at newsweek.com.

    Journal Articles:Artist News

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John Adams Encourages Focus on Early Music Appreciation

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on February 6, 2009 - 6:06pm
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Friday, February 6, 2009 - 17:00
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Shortly after Barack Obama was sworn in as President, the Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed offered a list of "rich, wise, inclusive original voices" he might invite to the White House to signal his commitment to the arts. Others have even suggested the appointment of an arts czar. Given all the demands currently weighing on the President, though, Adams explains, in a Newsweek interview, that music appreciation has to start on a much more basic level. "[T]he one and only way to interest people in classical music is to get them to play it as children," Adams asserts. "I think people should just be exposed all the time to great art. That sounds like a really simple, grandiose statement, but I think it's really true."

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Shortly after Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, the Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed offered the new President a list of "rich, wise, inclusive original voices" he might invite to the White House to signal his commitment to the arts. "I guarantee your life will be richer and the tone of America will rise if you listen to them," wrote Swed.

Among these artists were a number of Nonesuch artists, including composer John Adams. Others have even suggested the appointment of an arts czar. And whether or not The White House heeds any of this advice, Adams himself suggests that, with all the demands currently weighing on the President, being the nation's primary artistic promoter probably shouldn't be chief among them.

In an interview with Newsweek's Seth Colter Walls, Adams explains that, while the federal government should certainly do more to fund the arts, through organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts—"That's one of the great disgraces, that our federal budget for the arts is laughably small."—music appreciation has to start on a much more basic level, early on.

"[T]he one and only way to interest people in classical music is to get them to play it as children," Adams asserts. "I think people should just be exposed all the time to great art. That sounds like a really simple, grandiose statement, but I think it's really true."

Read the interview at newsweek.com.

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John Adams profile

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