The Unanswered Questions is a discussion series co-created by the New York Philharmonic, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Macaulay Honors College, which uses Philharmonic programming as a lens through which to examine complex issues of our time.

Video Archive

Addictive Connections

How has the criminalization of addiction and drug use impacted the arts and culture? Co-presented with The Cooper Union.

The Politics of Expression

Tania León, Angélica Negrón, and others discuss the complicated balance of personal expression and social pressures faced when composing.

What Does it Mean to Be Free?

This discussion with composer and musician Courtney Bryan looks at representations of liberation and self in music by Black composers.

The Power of a Voice

Explore how and why artists and institutions use their platforms to draw attention to issues within the criminal justice system.

Handel and the Royal African Company

How do listeners today reconcile the joy of Handel’s Messiah with the composer’s ties to the Royal African Company and the transatlantic slave trade?

Unjust Malaise

This examination of composer Julius Eastman’s life and music reveals the ways in which society ostracizes, even criminalizes, behavior deemed to be deviant.

Reclaiming our Joy

Performers, creators, and activists discuss how joy has been integral both to their work and to our overall pursuit of justice.

Opening the Gate

Black artists, women, and other marginalized groups have been obstructed by systems of gatekeeping. How have these artists forged paths that challenge the status quo?

What’s That Noise?

Join panelists, as they discuss the impact of culturally held perceptions of music versus noise and ponder the question who gets to be "loud" in New York City?