If Beethoven were with us now. . .
Composers do not exist in social and historical isolation but respond to the world around them. Forging a way into the future, they take account of what has gone before and are aware of the wider society in which they work. Beethoven, whose 250th celebration provides the underlying theme for this conference, is perhaps the ultimate manifestation of this: a man who could easily move from the arcane to the Arcadian, from the recherché to the rustic and from the miniature to the monumental. How might he have responded to the rich musical diversity of our times?
Composer, broadcaster, writer, editor, critic and teacher, William Dart was born in Auckland and educated at Whakatane High School. He graduated from the University of Auckland with BMus, MMus (Hons) and PhD degrees and is currently a Research Associate with the University of Waikato.
In 1988 William Dart founded and edited the important quarterly, Music in New Zealand, which he published almost single-handedly until 2002. He is regarded as one of New Zealand's leading music critics, knowledgeable on a wide variety of musical forms. He broadcasts regularly for Radio New Zealand Concert and has been involved with the station since the 1970s. His work here has included a weekly programme on rock music, New Horizons, as well as many other programmes, including Composer of the Week, New Music Survey, Pressing On, and Appointment.
The recipient of a prestigious Lilburn Trust Award, the KBB Citation for Services to NZ Music and an MNZM for Services to Music and the Arts (1997), William Dart has stood at the forefront of New Zealand music for more than three decades and remains an upstanding and outspoken voice for the Arts.
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