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September 22, 2011

28-Year-Old Takes over as Musical Director of Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

by @thoughtontracks

“Life – It’s Better with Music” reads the new tagline endorsed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. I hold this statement near and dear to my heart. While music is the perfect supplement to the day-to-day, it is the ability to embrace new ideas that truly makes music bloom.  While the experience that comes with age should not be dismissed, the opportunity to support innovation, regardless of maturity helps build the foundation for my belief system.  Placing an age requirement in front of a job involving the arts is careless.  I take my backwards cap off to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) for hiring the best fit while understanding youth CAN be prudent.

The creative juices are flowing as I begin to see a progressive movement to the arts and entertainment scene in Indianapolis.  It would be a disservice to detain my thoughts on the changing of the guard this year at the ISO, the largest performing arts organization in Indiana.  On October 19, 2010 the symphony announced the hiring of their seventh musical director and youngest musician to lead the series to date.  Enter the Krzysztof Urbanski era and the official youth movement to the enriched arts scene in Indianapolis.  I congratulate the ISO on thinking outside of the box with their selection and embracing the chance to be bold. It is my hope that this acquisition can be the first of many audacious decisions made by the leaders of arts and entertainment in Indianapolis.  While experience is valuable, capitalizing on a new energy can help transform a good arts scene into a brilliant arts scene.

Urbankski, a 28-year-old musical wizard born in Pabianice, Poland, graduated from Fryderky Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in 2007. That same year he won First Prize of the Prague Spring International Conducting Competition.  Exceeding and thriving in a highly competitive learning venue, Urbanski was able to establish an identity and project his masterpieces throughout Europe. The accomplishments of such a young man attracted attention throughout Europe and the states, before Urbanski landed the gig in Indianapolis.

Like many game changing decisions, the Urbanski selection came with scrutiny from many supporters embedded and forever indebted to the scene.  Mature minds tend to side with what is established, comfortable, and proven.  Although this sense of security is essential in any walk of life, an opportunity needs to exist for new thought. Urbanski has the chance to breed excitement while toying with experimentation.  The opportunity exists for Urbanski to lead a charge and drive a movement while building a new following.  While, Urbanski will not be “kissing the bricks” after his performances, he does of have the opportunity to reestablish the identity of a scene, much like A.J. Foyt did for Indianapolis between 1960-1980. A baton will serve as Urbanski’s checkered flag as he attempts to direct his new team across the finish line.

Indie rock songstress, Lykke Li offers a perfect welcoming message to Urbanski in her song ‘Youth Knows No Pain’

Youth knows no pain
Youth knows no pain

Come together and join the parade
And get back what got lost in the trade
With our crowns and our shimmering beads
With the wind in my hair, we are free

I am optimistic that Urbanski will quickly win the doubters over.  With hard work, continued support, and innovation Urbanski has the opportunity to ease the pain of inexperience.  Youth should always be embraced because of the new ideas that accompany it.  Let’s hope we can all join the parade and get excited about Urbanski’s contribution to the ISO. If not, I happen to know about another parade in May that we can all enjoy.

Written by Brett McGrath

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