Anastasia Tsioulcas writes at NPR Music for “Deceptive Cadence” (http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence). Widely published as a writer on both classical and world music, she is the former North America editor for Gramophone Magazine and the classical music columnist for Billboard. She has also been an on-air contributor to many public radio programs, including WNYC’s Soundcheck, Minnesota Public Radio’s The Savvy Traveler, Public Radio International’s Weekend America, and the BBC’s The World.
Star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato gave the 2014 commencement address at Juilliard Friday — and it's a memorable one, both for her words and by DiDonato's own example as someone whose own career began under low heat.
DiDonato has posted the text of her speech on her own website, and it's well worth 10 minutes of your time, whether you're an aspiring artist or need a gentle reminder or two about creativity. Here, though, is the bullet-point version for an extra-quick boost:
- You will never make it ... "It" doesn't exist for an artist.
- The work will never end ... It will always be there for you — even if in some moments you lack the will to be there for it. All it asks is that you show up, fully present.
- It's not about you ... You may not yet realize it, but you haven't signed up for a life of glory and adulation.
- The world needs you ... We need you to help us understand that which is bigger than ourselves, so that we can stop feeling so small, so isolated, so helpless.
And if you're in a late-spring mood for even more inspiration, check out the brilliant interactive list of speeches of our colleagues have created, culling from 300 addresses — including two by Wynton Marsalis — going back to 1774. They are The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever.