Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chaired by Jeff Gedmin, CEO, the Legatum Institute.

We celebrate innovation in business, science, and technology. Yet in the arts, we tend to be cautious, dismissive, or even hostile to experimentation, change, and the unfamiliar. Igor Stravinsky’s the Rite of Spring provoked riots at its 1913 Paris premiere. Gustav Mahler’s work was once deemed brazen, indecent, and “worthless” by critics. Johann Sebastian Bach was once reprimanded by his employers for mixing in so many “foreign tones” that he confused the congregation. Does daring in the arts advance or hinder civilisation? How much experimentation is too much? Does innovation in the arts promote creativity in science, business and technology?

The proposition: Innovation in business and technology, but not too much in the arts (and music) please!

Arguing for and against were:

“YES.” Hywel Williams, author, historian and Guardian commentator.

“NO.” Bob Shafer, renowned conductor and composer.

The event was held at the Chesterfield Mayfair in London.