The World of Classical Music – A New Salon Series with Linus Lu

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Linus Lu hosts a 6-month introductory salon series on classical music, that broad and elusive art that can refer to many things: a particular genre of music, a particular tradition of music, a long arc of musical development over time, an anachronistic art form. 

“Music is the purest form of art, and therefore the most direct expression of beauty, with a form and spirit which is one, and simple, and least encumbered with anything extraneous.”
  – Rabindranath Tagore

This series is meant to serve both as an introduction to classical music for beginners who want a friendly, communal entry-point into a genre that can feel intimidating at first, as well as a deeper exploration into the different facets of classical music: from understanding its building blocks like melody, form, and instrumentation, to classical music’s relationships with politics, history, and philosophy.

Starts: June 6

6 episodes: 2 pm New York (7 pm London), 1st Saturday of each month

Tickets: $20 per episode, series tickets $84 (save $36!) available to members

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1. Introduction to Classical Music – June 5th 2pm EST

Classical music is most definitely Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, but beyond that there are fuzzy edges. What are the essential ingredients of classical music, if there are any? What unifies all the composers and works that get defined as such, and what is classical music today? We also explore the ecosystem of classical music, from the composers that are revered to the performers keeping the art alive everyday to the institutions that support it.

2. History and Classical Music – July 3rd 2pm EST

This salon will be dive into the history of classical music and be about history through classical music. We go through the different periods of classical music, from the earliest ancient roots (which have more echoes in modern and contemporary music) through the Renaissance and Baroque to the Romantic and 20th century. We also look at how music reflected the ages: from Medieval masses mirroring the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, to Haydn quartets reflecting the aristocratic courts of the late 18th century, to Mahler’s gigantic symphonies reflecting the chaotic cosmopolitan of late 19th-century Vienna.

3. Elements of Classical Music – August 7th 2pm EST

We talk about the components of classical music. We’ll start with the physical artifacts, from instruments and recording equipment to musical notation. And we’ll deconstruct and discover the building blocks of the music itself, from melody and harmony to form and genre.

4. Classical Music and the Other Arts – September 4th 2pm EST

Classical music has long been influenced by—and been an influence on—other art forms. From operas based on myths and works of literature, to films using classical music in their soundtracks, we’ll discuss how classical music interacts with different types of art and culture at large, and how music can be a driver of culture as well as an important repository of socio-cultural meaning.

5. The Spaces of Classical Music – October 2nd 2pm EST

Music unfolds across time, but it must be performed and listened to somewhere. This salon will discuss where classical music happens, from the concert hall to the living room to the recording studios and practice rooms. How does space affect the music acoustically and contextually, and can a symphony truly be enjoyed in your bedroom with cheap earphones?

6. The Uses and Meaning of Classical Music – November 20th 2pm EST

We zoom out to conclude the series by talking about what classical music means, and what our own personal approaches to classical music are, can be, and should be.