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Musicians and "entrepreneurship"

There is a word that is very fashionable today in the world of the new economy: entrepreneurship. It's hard to find an adequate translation. In Italian one might say “intraprendenza”, or “imprenditorialità”, but it wouldn't really capture the meaning. The term “entrepreneurship”, in fact, is used to refer to the whole set of aptitudes and qualities that allow a team or an individual to find a winning idea, to realize it and carry it through also from a logistic point of view, as has recently been the case for many entrepreneurs who have successfully created start-up companies.
To speak of this matter in the realm of classical music may seem out of place, but I personally don't find it at all strange. On the contrary, looking at the career of many of the most successful musicians, it is clear that nearly all of them are excellent entrepreneurs. That is to say, they have known how to reinterpret their role as interpreters, not limiting themselves to a passive and self-referential approach (or, worse still, that of a “hireling”), but, instead, inventing new formats or breaking traditional schemes, with the aim of making the communication of quality music more effective. To give a few examples: YoYoMa, Gilles Apap, Mario Brunello, Daniel Baremboim, Giovanni Sollima, Stefano Bollani. None of them fits into the traditional model of a classical musician, and yet they all express themselves at high artistic levels in their environment, while opening up new ways of communicating music. They all share another mark of true entrepreneurs: curiosity and the desire to learn about realities outside of their own. But, thinking about it, also Mozart, Schumann and Liszt, each in their own way, were great inventors of new paths. However, as Felix Mendelssohn once wrote, “it is not enough to open up new ways, but it is important that they lead to much more beautiful and stimulating places”.
It is precisely thanks to the encounter with other artists from other areas or disciplines, or to the exchange with different realities and cultures, that a new creative project often emerges, offering the chance to build bridges and open new paths for all the potential music entrepreneurs.