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Juilliard School Plugs In

Juilliard School rocks to the high-tech world of string playing

"None of this represents a disputation of or threat to the tradition," he adds. "Juilliard's central mission will always be to train students in playing the masterworks of classical music. The Electric Ensemble offers an opportunity for students to spread their wings, to broaden their perspectives and try some new things."

And, Bilous adds, there has been very little resistance to that trend in the typically staid conservatory climate. "Most people realize, as in every other walk of life and in every other industry, computers are playing an increasingly large role in the way we run our lives," he says. "And that's certainly true of music."

Ultimately, it is the allure of hipness-of Deep Elvis-and the societally coveted position of "rock star" that draws participants to these alternative sounds. "I am sure that every Juilliard music student-and even some of the faculty members-wish on some level that the energy that exists on any good rock record was available to them in classical music," says Bilous. "One of the most important things about our Electric Ensemble is that it gives students an opportunity to play music that is dangerous."

*This article appeared in Strings August/September 2003

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