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Orli Shaham On Where Music Is and Where It’s Going

Orli Shaham

Pianist Orli Shaham (Karjaka Studios)

If you’ve spent time in classical music circles, you’ve heard this discussion. It’s about whether classical music is about the give up the ghost. But people have been asking that question for decades, at the very least, and the market share of classical music has been steady as long as that question’s been around.

Orli Shaham is a pianist who performs with major orchestras around the world. She teaches at Juilliard, and she’s started multiple programs to introduce classical music to more general audiences. She’s not worried, because, as she puts it, “As a species we look for meaning. We want to understanding something that is beyond us, or that speaks to our emotions in ways we can’t articulate.” What we call “classical” music does that, and she believes people will continue to see it out.

This week, WFIU Music Director Aaron Cain talks with Orli Shaham about helping people find their way toward classical music, music students’ internalized pressure to get all the notes right, and how cassette tapes made music precious in a way that’s maybe been lost in the days of streaming.

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