Paul Jump
March 1, 2002

“...if even a conductor gets lost in the dense leaves of the modern music tree, what hope is there for the rest of us? Well, [Gil] Rose’s point is partly that no one should feel threatened by any piece of music since no particular style can claim “high ground” any longer. In other words, it is perfectly valid to simply rely on our gut feelings about which types of music we like; there is no danger of thereby committing any artistic faux pas. Yet, still, how can listeners put what they hear into some kind of meaningful context amidst such a cacophony of competing musical values? This is where BMOP’s “M4” (Making Modern Music Matter) program comes in. Consisting largely of program notes and pre-concert lectures by composers and performers, this “model for audience development” aims to give the audience a “more meaningful listening experience” and to prove that modern classical music “can and should be entertaining as well as educational.”

. . .Hence, I went to BMOP’s Journey into Jazz concert primed to break out of the populist “saccharine” mindset in which “Rachmaninov strings” constitute the paragon of musical excellence, bristling with contempt for the dinner-suited Mozart-chasers who only attend classical concerts as a symbol of their social status (the real elitists, it might well be argued). Yet my expectations still fell far short of what I actually experienced - which was nothing short of a revelation. True, the pre-concert symposium, conducted by a trio of composers whose works were featured in the program, sometimes went a little over my head (as did the program notes they also contributed). But the music itself went straight to my heart and exhilarated, astounded, and moved me in a way I have rarely experienced before with any era of classical music. . .”

- Paul Jump

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