Private Passions, Public Culture

2002 Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture - Michael Berkeley

Given on Sunday 6 October 2002 at the Royal Academy of Music, London

Being a Creative Artist in the 21st Century

Posing the question: is serious music being derailed? Michael Berkeley reflected on how attitudes to culture have changed over the past 50 years and offered a unique perspective on what it like to be a creative artist living in the 21st century.

Michael Berkeley reached some pretty devastating conclusions about the current cultural climate and, in his lecture, tried to suggest some ways forward.

The RPS Lecture

offers a platform for eminent thinkers and cultural commentators to examine aspects of the future of music. Recent speakers have included the neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, composer Steve Reich and opera director Graham Vick.

The RPS Lecture is generously supported by Peter Bull



Rosemary Nalden: British viola player and founder of Buskaid, who now directs the thriving stringed-instruments school in Soweto. Awarded RPS Honorary Membership in 2013.


In 1980 pianist extraordinaire Stephen Hough won the first RPS Julius Isserlis scholarship, enabling him to study abroad at Julliard.