Orli Shaham on where music is and where it’s going | Inner states

Orli Shaham

Pianist Orli Shaham

(Karjaka Studios)

If you’ve spent time in classical music circles, you’ve heard this discussion. The point is whether classical music is about giving up the mind. But people have been asking that question for at least decades, and classical music’s market share has been stable as long as that demand has existed.

Orli Shaham is a pianist who performs with major orchestras around the world. She teaches at Juilliard and has established several programs to introduce classical music to a broader audience. She isn’t worried, because as she puts it, “As a species, we look for meaning. We want to understand something that is beyond us, or that speaks to our emotions in a way we cannot express.” What we call “classical” music does that, and she believes people will continue to see it.

This week, WFIU music director Aaron Cain talks to Orli Shaham about helping people find their way into classical music, the internalized pressure from music students to get all the notes right, and how cassette tapes made music precious in a way that may be lost in the days streaming.