Classical music via large symphony orchestras has been on the ropes as long as I can remember. Perpetually white-haired audience members dying off and not being replaced at quite the same rate, pinched budgets, arts education in schools a shambles, the populace burrowed down with its headphones, no doubt listening to vapid pop music or worse.
Or so the narrative goes, and there is plentiful evidence to support it, with classical record sales in steady decline and symphony orchestras in various cities going kaput.
It’s one reason why the field tries to sell sexy soloists, a phenomenon explored in a post several months ago. But many problems beset the genre, not the least of which is a certain kind of stultifying air, bringing to mind stuffy Vienna drawing rooms, man wigs, and deeply sober approaches to musical expression...Read More