Music and Politics, pt. 1

11

April
2011

Ai Weiwei (photo: Andy Miah)

A while back I asked a question in the title of a post—Is Artistic Expression Inherently Political?—which contrasted with two famous Chinese artists, Lang Lang and Ai Weiwei, and their polar-opposite views.

A recent performance by pianist Daniel Barenboim (at the Tate Modern in London) not only brings me back to the question but a little closer to finding an answer.

…8,000 people applied for the 400 seats while 700 more watched a live relay in the hall below, where Ai Weiwei’s 100 million Sunflower Seeds are on show. Alex Beard, Tate deputy director, spoke briefly to remind us of the detained Chinese artist’s plight. Barenboim, a citizen of the world and United Nations Messenger of Peace, led the applause.

For him, all music aspires to the political. “I’ve learned more about living from music than the other way round,” he said.

Read more: Daniel Barenboim – review (Guardian)

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