Moderator profile

Philosophers' Café provides composer with a space to share the power of music and art

Chris Ludwig. Photo by Greg Ehlers.

As a contemporary classical composer, Chris Ludwig spends a lot of time creating complicated, layered musical worlds in his own head. As a moderator for SFU’s Philosophers’ Café, he shares these worlds with everyone.

Born into a musical family (his dad was the keyboardist for the popular rock band Trooper), Chris grew up surrounded by creativity. In his early years, he developed a fascination with J.S. Bach and trained as a flutist. In his mid-twenties, however, he discovered his true passion—composition. “It was just kind of in me,” he says. “One day I sat down in my father’s recording studio with paper and pencil and I just could. It came out effortlessly.”

Chris has been composing ever since. He has completed over 200 works of acoustic instrumental and ensemble pieces and is the creator and owner of Ludwig Recordings. Most recently, his work has focused on art song: the blend of music and poetry. “Most of our lives we’re stuck walking on the ground, but a good piece of music or art allows us to fly like eagles,” he says. “[Music] allows us to be better than we are, or at least have a glimpse of it.” And Chris believes that this power should be shared with the larger population.

“One day I sat down in my father’s recording studio with paper and pencil and I just could. It came out effortlessly.”

Photo by Greg Ehlers.

“As composers, we are somewhat notorious for doing our thing and living in specific artistic circles,” he explains. “The Philosophers’ Café is a good way to reach a broader public.” His Café topics focus on classical music, art and the artist’s role in society. Although they may appear to represent a specific niche, Chris emphasizes that his Café sessions are for everyone—you don’t need any prior musical knowledge to participate.

“I find the wide variety of people that come very surprising. There’s people from all types of backgrounds,” he says. “To some degree I think music should be taken out of places like the Orpheum and brought to the main street—off Wall Street and onto Main Street.” SFU’s Philosophers’ Café provides a space for Chris to do just that.

Upcoming Philosophers’ Cafés moderated by Chris: