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Sir Jonathan Mills to host public lectures at Yale fall 2019

Talks to address connections between health and music, the value of embracing diverse cultural traditions, and the politics of running an international festival
October 8, 2019

Sir Jonathan Mills. Photo by Seamus McGarvey

Sir Jonathan Mills will present a series of three lectures in October 2019. Mills, who is known for his directorship, from 2006 until 2014, of the internationally celebrated Edinburgh International Festival, has also led prestigious festivals in his native Australia and is recognized around the world for his thought-provoking compositions. Mills holds a bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Sydney and a master of architecture degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 and knighted in 2013.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

“Culture and Well-being: Connections Between Health and Music”

Yale School of Public Health
This event is by invitation only

How can culture contribute to the health and well-being of human society? The sustainable provision of health care is of vital concern for governments around the world. A growing body of neurological and clinical research indicates that participation in cultural activity offers long-lasting benefits for a range of medical conditions. How can the social and economic benefits of the arts be understood and implemented by policy makers, commercial medical insurers, and clinical practitioners? How can the arts improve health outcomes for traditionally marginalized or neglected communities?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Classical Traditions: The Many Rather than the Few

Yale School of Music, Leigh Hall, Room 211
11 a.m. | Free and open to the Yale community

The past millennium has been dominated by European science and technology, culture, and philosophy. There is some plausible speculation that an era of European hegemony might possibly be drawing to a close.

We have already begun to enter historical period in which no single culture, ideology, theocracy, or politics will be all pervasive or dominant. We are now living in a world in which knowledge comes simultaneously from various, divergent technological, ethical, cultural, and philosophical sources and locations.

In an era increasingly concerned with the politics of identity, at a time of heightened sensitivity about the social and cultural implications of certain dominant hegemonies, is it not time to celebrate, in a spirit of curiosity and generosity, the existence of many diverse and unique classical artistic traditions, rather than continue to assert the primacy of a single tradition?

 Monday, October 21, 2019

Managing the Art of the Unexpected

Yale School of Music, Leigh Hall, Room 402
4:30 p.m. | Free and open to the Yale community

How does one respond to a passionate and heartfelt demand by a group of highly motivated members of the public to cancel a tour, by an ensemble from a country whose government engages in widely acknowledged and highly controversial policies, when one is directing an international festival that the tour is slated to visit? In such circumstances, are artists to be treated as pawns in a larger geopolitical dialogue or individuals who need protection?

What happens when a war erupts in a nation from which a large-scale company of your most prominent performers is about to depart?

Drawing very directly on his personal experiences as both the CEO and Artistic Director of one of the world’s largest festivals—the Edinburgh International Festival—composer Jonathan Mills considers the sometimes challenging roles of being a chief executive and an artistic leader of an arts organization. In this lecture, Mills reflects on some of the strategic and diplomatic dimensions of running a prominent arts institution and offers some advice about the sorts of political confrontations that no one is warned about in advance of taking a job as a cultural leader.

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