Concerts are more than a collection of pieces. Festivals are more than a bunch of concerts stacked in a row. The context that surrounds music – where you hear it, when you hear it, who plays it, the music that you hear next to it – all affects the experience you have of that music. Music is largely an abstract art, so context can be metaphorical as well as literal. How then to make connections between what a composer is trying to say and the context in which it is being said?
Can music evoke a place? Can it express a non-musical idea? Does music have something to say about contemporary culture? How?