David Ludwig is acutely aware of the importance of legacy. Born into a long line of celebrated figures in classical music, Ludwig is just the latest member of his immediate family to attend, and then become, a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music.
His grandfather and great-grandfather stand out in history as some of the foremost performers of their time on piano and violin, respectively. But more than just fame and talent, Ludwig’s lineage instilled him with a commitment to both moral and artistic integrity.
Unafraid to explore contentious subjects, Ludwig here included two pieces charged with poignant messages for contemporary audiences. “Seasons Lost” explores the impacts of climate change that have caused once well-defined seasons to blend into one another. “Our Long War,” a collaboration with Philadelphia-based poet explores the isolation U.S. citizens have felt from recent wars because combat has taken place elsewhere.
These social meditations reflect Ludwig’s general approach to art, wherein he thoughtfully consults all related preceding material to help him mold his own works.
Perhaps due to his heritage, Ludwig pays attention to the legacy left by artists who came before him and uses their wisdom and accomplishments as the raw material for his works. Everything from Japanese woodblock prints to ancient Sephardic music to his own personal artistic journey has served as sources of inspiration for his compositions.
Ultimately, it is by entrenching himself in what has come before that Ludwig is able to carve out his own unique place as an artist.