Sunday, December 30, 2007

Classical music won't die until we're done discussing its demise

From Roger Rudenstein in NewMusicBox:
I doubt, however, that rejection of modernism is what drove Baby Boomers away from classical music. They weren't there in the first place. Part of their act of rebellion was to put a minus sign on anything their parents found important and classical music was seen as part of the conformity and stuffiness of the middle class life they rejected. To make matters worse, music education in the schools was gutted as the post-war prosperity waned and brought massive school budget cutbacks. So, it can't really be said that most Baby Boomers and, especially, the generations following, considered classical music and then rejected it. It was simply not an option.

Many, many good points. Naturally, I think music education for children is key.

A more optimistic piece in the Toronto Star:

In Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company sells out its shows weeks before the curtain goes up.

This entire season of concerts by the Women's Musical Club of Toronto – which has the most uncool name of any music presenter in the city – sold out last summer.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra's revenues have risen steadily since its near-death experience at the turn of the millennium.

Roy Thomson Hall is awash in young faces, thanks to its tsoundcheck program, which offers 15- to 29-year-olds tickets for $12.

If young people weren't interested in classical music, even $5 would not get them through the door.

My epiphany of 2007 came at an all-Gershwin pops concert this fall. It played to a half-capacity house made up largely of seniors.

It became clear that the TSO's younger fans want pure classical, not crossover offerings.

The ASO student tickets are $7. I don't see many young faces at the purely classical offerings. What is the difference? The author here says it's quality. What do you think?

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