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Falling in love...

img  Tobias

A Forum of musicians, composers and industry figureheads met up at Clevelands Waetjen Auditorium to discuss about the Future of Classical Music. Apart from the usual debate about school education, there were some rather interesting points made. We have summarised them for you:

  •  Gary Hanson, Executive Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, remarked that classical music will always have an "older" audience than, say, pop and rock, because people tend to stay with the music for the rest of their life.
  • Eric Ziolek, the Chairman of the Cleveland Music Department, claims that the reason why today's youth doesn't care about Classical Music is because their parents grew up in a rock oriented environment. The music that's closest to your heart, Ziolek believes, is the music you listen to when you fall in and out of love. Since the 50s, orchestras have disappeared as backings to Pop and Rock music and so, in turn, has their natural appeal.
  • Composer and Critic Greg Sandow dismissed the notion that the new generation of music lovers was "dumb" (thank you!). Instead, the knack was to find the right kind of music for people who are in lost in choice. He remembered playing Händel to a friend, who didn't like it, but really warmed up to the sounds of Alban Berg.
  • Sandow also had a story to tell about an innovative concept in which people got to hear three new compositions and were afterwards put in the position to vote on them. With these kinds of ideas, he even saw an opportunity for Classical Music to become part of the "urban street culture". Gary Hanson tended to see things a bit differently, though. He wasn't necessarily opposed to trying new things, such as adding large video screens to performances, but also pointed to the problem of the high costs of buying into new audiences - it was always going to be more effective to target core audiences.

These are some interesting points. Especially Sandows remark that, really, the idea is to somehow get people to listen to the Classical Music they might like, makes sense. This is a task that normally "the older brother" would fulfill, who might now be listening to Radiohead or Jimi Hendrix instead. Also Gary Hansons dry comment about the target group is an important one. Rock organisors would not spend a single penny on trying to get fans of Beethoven to their concerts - even though they might attract one of them, if they invested huge amounts. This puts the whole subsidised culture policy into question. Even though only a few solutions were proposed, this poses more than enough food for thought.

And now decide for yourself.

Source: WKSU

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