John Borstlap

John Borstlap

About John Borstlap

John Borstlap is a composer and writer on cultural subjects, covering music and the visual arts. He is the author of The Classical Revolution: Thoughts on New Music in the 21st Century. Mr. Borstlap studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory and took a Master's Degree at the University of Cambridge (England). His Violin Concerto won prizes at the Prince Pierre Competition in Monaco and at the Wieniawski Competition in Poznan (Poland).

Deep Listening

By |2019-07-07T22:14:32-05:00July 7th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Music, Timeless Essays|

The capacity to “enter” the imaginary landscape of the musical narrative is what musical perception really means. We can call this “deep listening:” the alert attention which puts, for the duration of the concert, our ego and our intellect on a shelf, to be taken back at the cloakroom where we fortify ourselves again [...]

Deep Listening

By |2019-06-11T11:41:21-05:00July 19th, 2018|Categories: Music|

The capacity to “enter” the imaginary landscape of the musical narrative—or to have the musical narrative take possession of our inner space, to say it differently—is what musical perception really means. We can call this “deep listening:” the alert attention which puts, for the duration of the concert, our ego and our intellect on [...]

The Relevance of Classical Music

By |2017-07-08T07:39:19-05:00April 29th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Featured, Music, Western Civilization|

Music was meant to create an effect in its listeners that embraced more than the perception of its sounds alone; it was meant to have an effect deeper than words, deeper than rational thought, and touching the emotions and that mysterious thing which the poets call “the soul”… As Sir Roger Scruton has explained [...]

Is Innovation in the Arts a Good Thing?

By |2019-07-30T16:36:52-05:00March 15th, 2016|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Featured, Music|

In the last century, the concept of “progress” was often projected upon the arts as a measurement of quality: “good art” was “progressive art.” If an artist did not commit some “groundbreaking” artistic deed, his work was considered worthless. While progress in science is a fundamental notion, in the arts it is meaningless because [...]