Classical Beat: The conservative classical musical culture: Is that all there is?
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#1 Sep 19, 2013
I don't know what world you live in, but pick up any program today by the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, ert al and you will find about a third of the programming is of these "recent" composers, not the "three Bs." In fact, a lot of this mediocre music gets more exposure than it deserves, simply in an attempt for the ensemble to appear "relevant" and "hip." As usual with most critiques of the classical scene (you have to dress in fancy clothes--not true; they don't explain the music in lay-person's terms--they do; tickets are too expensive--they're dirt cheap and sometimes even given away at the last minute), the person doing the critiquing is drawing on stereotypes that have been gone for more than two decades.
There are whole festivals of modern music in all major U.S. cities, as well as locally-produced affairs without marquee names that attract almost no attention. Many are for free, and feature new talents. There are also whole record labels devoted to the kind of music you are talk about. Go on Amazon and see how much they are selling--almost zero.
People aren't "into" classical music because it demands more attention than tapping your foot and bobbing your head as you hear a refrain repeated fifty times in a song. Period. No one wants to admit that, so they make up all this other esoteric nonsense about "what's wrong" with classical music.
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