The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

Future Play with Peter Sellars

In a thoughtful and wide-ranging speech in the Barbican Hall, the renowned opera, theatre and festival director Peter Sellars posed a series of stark challenges to the worlds of classical music and education. 

Sellars was delivering the keynote speech at Future Play – a symposium about the future of music education presented by the Barbican Centre and LA Phil. Below, we feature some of the key excerpts, but you can also listen to the full version of his speech here

‘We’re so not finished with this’ – why we need to remind ourselves what the form of classical music was all about:

‘How interested, really, are we in African Drumming… except that it helps your Steve Reich concert?’ – a call for radical structures of reciprocity

‘If you are so culturally narrow, you are in trouble right now’ – emphasising the centrality of ‘ethnic’ music to the western classical tradition:

‘The working educational model for fascism’ – a searing critique of the American education system:

Future Play: Music Systems in the 21st Century took place on 13–15 March 2013.

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