Life as Art

Oscar Wilde said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” These words aren’t simply poetic, but aspirational. How can emerging musicians envision their careers – and their lives – as works of art? 

In this month’s issue, we gain insight into three musicians who have crafted their life’s work to reflect their artistic values.

Justin Kantor has helped reinvent our performing venues. Delivering a TALK21 from DePauw University, Kantor shares the vision he developed as co-founder of (le) poisson rouge, a space The New York Times describes as “the coolest place to hear contemporary music.”

We hear from Laurie Rubin, who was born blind and knows something about how damaging bullying can be. She has a message for bullies – stand down – and for the bullied – stand tall. She’s using her music to provide an otherwise scarce form of support. Then, one of Rubin’s mentors and a grande dame of the world operatic stage, Frederica von Stade, speaks on a timeless topic in music: the good it can do for young people, and the importance of making it accessible.

Finally, I share an excerpt of a convocation address I delivered at my own alma mater. Sharing “Dear Recent Music Graduate” with the new graduates of the University of Illinois was both humbling and joyful, and this open letter to newly minted music graduates everywhere locks in on this advice: Be authentic, be grateful, and make your life a work of art.

Thanks for joining the conversation,
Mark Rabideau
Director, 21CM