Dr. Chris Feudtner

From "Departure and Discovery: New Directions at the Apex of Creativity," a blog for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society by Leah Hood.

PA Philadelphia Mural Arts—2016 September 26 15;12;47.jpg

As a palliative care researcher and physician very much in his mid-career, Dr. Chris Fuedtner is an interesting choice of subjects for a series on Late Style. But his research, and the patient population Dr. Fuedtner serves, reveals insights into what inspires people to create, explore, and live life to the fullest — even when the end of that life is within view. ...

Like many of the great composers, Fuedtner is adamant that his palliative work is not about death, but rather how to “live well” within all the constraints and challenges of life. ... “[Composers] have lost a child, a spouse, a sibling, and their work is dominated by grief. … Think of Britten’s ‘War Requiem’ … The question of mortality isn’t simply that I’m going to die. It’s also: I have lived and what does that mean? Does death negate the value of everything I’ve done up to this point?”