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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Einstein on the Blog: "Who are these people?"

Music historian Richard Taruskin on the premiere of Einstein on the Beach at the Metropolitan Opera in 1976, from his Oxford History of Western Music:
The wildly enthusiastic audience, perhaps needless to say, did not consist of Met subscribers. Instead, it was as if the “downtown” New York arts scene—painters, conceptual artists, experimental theater hands, art-rockers and their fans, along with a scattering of curious “classical” musicians who felt distinctly like onlookers—had migrated northward and invaded the precincts of high art for a night. “Who are these people?” one of the opera house administrators supposedly asked Glass. “I've never seen them here before.” As Glass tells the story, “I remember replying very candidly, ‘Well, you'd better find out who they are, because if this place expects to be running in twenty-five years, that's your audience out there."

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