Monday, October 5, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

We have heard this before but still. Every once in a while it knocks you over the head, how so many young pianists these days are Asian.

I was just looking at the Stecher and Horowitz Web site because one of their Young Artists, Jonathan Coombs, is coming to Canisius College for a recital on Oct. 25. I do not know if Coombs is in the picture above or what. But if he is, we can be pretty sure he is in the bottom row, either on the left or on the right.

Six of the nine artists are Asian.

Six of them, although not quite the same six, are girls.

That isn't surprising. When you go to a piano recital at the University at Buffalo, there is always a large number of young Asian women in the audience. That is what Howard pointed out when we went to see our friend Stephen Manes. Howard said, he seems to have a strong following among Asian females. That is the situation at many piano concerts.

I am not sure why Asians dominate this field the way they do but I have a guess. I think that being relatively new to this country they have not yet been caught up in the general dumb-ing down of America.

So that is one reason. The Asian cultures seem to have a big love for Western classical music and they hold on to that.

We still have the question of why more girls than guys. Perhaps the girls are more resistant to slug culture. Or maybe it is that girls get the inside track. I am allowed to say this. Affirmative action gave me my first newspaper job, at the Niagara Gazette. The Gazette got some kind of kickback for hiring me instead of some guy.

On the other hand maybe no one is resistant to slug culture. I am watching this video on the Stecher and Horowitz Young Artists.

"It allows me to be in some place, like, that I cannot be anywhere else in the world. And just like, it's so sublime, like, it's just so great."

I don't care if you are a teenager. Learn to talk, you know?

The kid they are sending to us had better not talk that way.

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