|Photo by G. Landis from The Dallas Opera’s world premiere production of “Therese Raquin”|
Leon Botstein, the music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, has a piece in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal (Yes, I’m playing catch-up on my reading) that’s well worth a second and more careful look.
The topic is the “Unsung Success of Live Classical Music”—the polar opposite of the usual article of this nature, in which he cites the veritable explosion of performing ensembles, summer festivals and the like (there are more than twice as many professional orchestras in America, as compared to thirty years ago, and some 500 youth orchestras, up from just 63 in 1990) as proof that classical music performance in this country is not only alive-and-well, but actually thriving.
Botstein also believes that the age of the iPod—rather than discouraging attendance—is actually generating more interest and excitement about classical music among previously…mmm…How shall I put this?…”self-disenfranchising” audience members. He also contends that the road to commercial success isn’t paved with the same old cobblestones. Botstein asserts that classical music advocates need to throw caution to the winds and stop playing the same repertoire; to make their programs “challenging and relevant, reaching out—particularly to schools and colleges—beyond the confines of the concert hall.”
You can give your thoughtful consideration to the entire article here.
Suzanne Calvin, Assoc. Dir. of Marketing, The Dallas Opera