About Us

Hello (music) World!

Welcome to our little corner of the internet: the Impolite to Listen podcast. We are going to be having conversations that are ostensibly about classical music, but don’t let that fool you; we want to avoid being overly-complicated, boring, or effete at all costs. The show will not be auditory program notes, which tend to be more tedious than informative (“Who was Hector Berlioz?”), nor will it be a place to hear the tired platitudes of the industry.

This is not to say that our show will be superficial, however. We want to explore new ideas by asking big questions, taking inspiration from Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts and Norton Lectures, which have spawned many imitators in style, if not in spirit.

There is an infamous saying, misattributed to all sorts of people but probably said by Martin Mull, that writing (or talking) about music is like dancing about architecture. Of course one does not dance about anything, one dances to it. Prepositions aside, it’s a point we take very seriously before proceeding to dance the night away. It may be ultimately pointless, but we will certainly have fun with it.

The most important thing is that you enjoy listening to the show as much as we enjoy making it. We also hope that you join the conversation. Non-musicians are welcome, in fact highly encouraged, to listen and give their opinions on the topic of the day. Both of us are believers in the unity of knowledge, and the show’s lasting success will depend on it. Conversations are fractal by nature, like the head of a cauliflower and its endlessly self-affine florets and sub-florets, or like a jagged coastline that only looks more like itself as you look closer and closer. James Joyce put it another way: “In the particular is contained the universal.” Musician, surgeon, chef, astronaut, it doesn’t matter; our conversations may seem different on the surface, but the metaconversation is the same.

When we release an episode, it is only the opening gambit of a discussion that we hope will continue long into the night. Let’s make conversational music together.


Sridhar Bhagavathula

Christopher Arkin