Skip to content
Who's in the Video

John Harbison

John Harbison is an American composer whose work is notable for its astonishing range and diversity. He has written for every conceivable type of concert performance and is also considered[…]

As an age of paradoxes.

Question: How will this age be remembered?

John Harbison: Well you know, it’s gonna be remembered in a rather paradoxical way. Very often when there’s been a bad distribution of wealth, and a few people with great privilege and a lot of people suffering and so forth, paradoxically many, many, things in the arts and architecture and the building of beautiful things have occurred. And I think that this period will be, in terms of the making of things, the making of beautiful things, that I think it will be remembered with great distinction. The Renaissance popes, some of the worst patronize some of the greatest artistic events. Pope Julius . . . we have the Sistine Chapel from a pope who spent most of his time fighting. So we who are artists have to accept that good times for us are often bad times for society.

Recorded On: 6/12/07