Audiences can cope if given the opportunity
In that photo senior Tibetan Buddhist monk Kenrap-la is introduced to Jonathan Harvey's Body Mandala for the first time. He is listening via my iPod as we approach his monastery at Thiksay at the end of the arduous 800 km drive from Kalka in the foothills of the Himalayas to Ladakh on the border of India and Tibet. When I took the photo we were 15,000 feet above sea level and more than 1000 km from the nearest concert hall, in a region where symphony orchestras are unknown and Western art music is culturally alien. Yet, despite this, Kenrap-la listened engrossed for the whole fifteen minutes of Body Mandala. Everyone involved in classical music should look again at my photo and ponder on the following: audiences can cope with challenging and the exalted music, they just need to be given the opportunity.
Also on Facebook and Twitter. Photo is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2014.