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Working as a classical musician, I have often felt oddly distanced from the major issues of the day. While wars raged, I played chamber music. While innocents died in natural disasters or human-caused catastrophes, I played operas about tragic love. When riots and demonstrations troubled my racially and economically divided city, I performed with mostly white musicians for audiences that were mostly white and well off. Classical music may be full of drama and emotion, but whether old or new, it usually seems separate, even insulated, from the world’s current problems..
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