For Keith Lockhart, art delivers solace in troubled times

At the Superlux theater in Chestnut Hill last Wednesday night, Newton resident and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart told an audience that he understands “people come to be pleased. They desperately need something to be celebrate,” given the difficult times.

He spoke to 80 people at a fundraiser for Newton Community Pride, a 35-year-old nonprofit for arts, culture, and beautification. At the fundraiser, Lockhart said the Holiday Pops—in its 50th season—fills the need to be pleased and to celebrate.

He was interviewed by GBH’s Jim Braude.

Lockhart’s musical life began at six years old when he learned to play the piano at his home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He originally wanted to be a lawyer. But he earned a degree at a conservatory where a teacher asked him if he ever thought of being a conductor. Next year will be Lockhart’s 29th year with the Boston Pops.

When asked about AI, he said on a recent trip to Japan, he saw a few bands that were an AI creation, which most people didn’t realize. Lockhart was clearly uncomfortable with it.

He’s concerned that the phone obsessed younger generations will “blindly accept stimuli without creating themselves.”

Lockhart said Symphony Hall acoustics are among the best for an audience anywhere but harder for the musicians.