Daria van den Bercken loves classical music and will do just about anything to make sure you like it too.
She’s played the music of George Frideric Handel in the air, hoisted 25 feet above fans in Brazil.
She’s played in parks and banks in Amsterdam.
She has even invited strangers into her apartment to listen to Handel in an intimate setting.
Well, Bercken is inspired by Handel’s music. During a TED Talks presentation the musician said she felt “pure, unprejudiced amazement” when she listened to his work. She was struck by the complicated emotions in Handel’s compositions — the melancholy mixed with tenderness and the sadness coupled with energy.
“You can feel each small pain and wish,” she told Spotify about his music.
Yet, as a professional performer she realized that younger children felt the “pure amazement” but older children, even adults, had a harder time hearing the music. Bercken decided to recreate that juvenile sense of wonder by playing Handel’s music outside of concert halls and in the most unusual places. By doing so, she is introducing Handel to millions of people who wouldn’t normally listen to classical music.
“I’ve given a lot of children’s concerts for children of seven and eight years old, and whatever I play, whether it’s Bach, Beethoven, even Stockhausen, or some jazzy music, they are open to hear it, really willing to listen, and they are comfortable doing so,” she said in her TED presentation. “And when classes come in with children who are just a few years older, 11, 12, I felt that I sometimes already had trouble in reaching them like that .. But the young ones, they don’t question their own opinion. They are in this constant state of wonder, and I do firmly believe that we can keep listening like these seven-year-old children, even when growing up. And that is why I have played not only in the concert hall but also on the street, online, in the air: to feel that state of wonder, to truly listen, and to listen without prejudice.”
It is an interesting concept that we hear things more purely as young children. Do you think that these stunts help people understand the wonders and joys of classical music?
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