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Formula of Popularity Homer, Tarantino, Picasso, Schubert and ...???
Formula of Popularity Homer, Tarantino, Picasso, Schubert and ...???

Tue, Dec 13

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New York

Formula of Popularity Homer, Tarantino, Picasso, Schubert and ...???

Does popularity exist in art? Does it exist in life? What are the factors which determine the popularity of an artists or a musician? What is today’s criteria for talent and its success?

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Time & Location

Dec 13, 2022, 6:30 PM

New York, 7 E 95th St, New York, NY 10128, USA

About The Event

Dear Friends,  I have been bombarding myself with questions about popularity. Could I share them with you? Does popularity exist in art? Does it exist in life? What are the factors which determine the popularity of an artists or a musician? What is today’s criteria for talent and its success? Is there a connection between a talent of an artist and his/her fame? Why are some artists recognized as genius during their lifetime and others die in obscurity only to become famous long after their death? J.S. Bach, Rembrandt, Vermeer… it is now impossible to imagine that in the middle of the 19th century these names were known only to a few chosen ones and practically unknown to general public. What is even harder to believe is that in the 19th century Raphael and Rossini were true superstars (who surpassed Beethoven in popularity) while Rembrandt and J.S. Bach were virtually forgotten. I think it is significant that up until the 15th century artists often did not even sign their work. It was an honor to be unknown. And what difference did the name of the artist make if the artwork spoke for itself?! That was enough. Such practice was typical in Japan, Russia and Europe. Obviously, today it is not the case. We seem to be obsessed with people, concepts, and ideas BEHIND the artwork INSTEAD of the artwork itself. So what is popularity? Is it a coincidence? What makes a particular artwork or a piece of music popular? Why is everyone so desperate to see Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa” or listen to Beethoven’s “Moonlight sonata” or “Für Elise”?  Could it be that these ”hit” masterpieces appear equally satisfying to both general crowd and the so called “sophisticated” audience? Could it be that the enigma and charm of these masterpieces interact with us on a subconscious level?  What is the difference between popularity and fashion or trend? Take Caravaggio, for example - today he seems to appeal to us on all levels, to impact our soul. Perhaps the reason is the cinematographic effect of his paintings which is so appealing to our modern perception. Interestingly, his overwhelming popularity evolved relatively recently - in the early 20th century. My view is that popularity is a phenomenon where an artists or an author suddenly resonates with broad audiences at a given time. What happens after that depends on the ‘level‘ of the audience - its experience with the art and perception of the art. It depends on whether members of the audience rely on their inner voice in making a judgement or whether they looks to their “neighbors” for guidance in their taste.  In today’s artworld criticism seems to have been outlawed, particularly in classical music. No one “booos” artists anymore. We come to a concert predisposed, we know it will be ‘great’ and there will be a standing ovation at the end. And there always is! But what if we treat criticism as a sign of involvement? At our concert on December 13 we will try to address the questions above through the popular poems of Homer, through the phenomenon of melodies and harmonies of Schubert and his SECRET to creating one hit after another. (His music, as well as that of Johann Strauss’ was the equivalent of pop music of our times.)  As always, we have some surprises and premieres for you.  As a reward, after our discussion, we will perform a very popular (and rightfully so) and life-affirming creation of Schubert - the piano quintet “The Trout.”  Let’s hope we will experience the popularity of this magnificent music from heart to heart! Musically yours,  Leon

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