Purpose of the arts

Heard but not seen

In 1926, conductor Leopold Stokowski inserted the following into the Philadelphia Orchestra programs:

The great conviction has been growing in me that the orchestra and conductor should be unseen, so that on the part of the listener more attention will go to the ear and less to the eyes. The experiment of an invisible orchestra is for the moment impossible – so I am trying to reach for a similar result by reducing the light to the minimum necessary for the artists of the orchestra to see their music and the conductor.

Music by its nature is remote from the tangible and visible things of life. I am hoping to intensify its mystery and eloquence and beauty.

– Leopold Stokowski.
Cited in: Chasins, Abram (1979) Leopold Stokowski. London: Robert Hale, p.104.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist