The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music night at the White House: Could a ‘renaissance’ be at hand?

November 6, 2009
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By Jacob Stockinger

It has been a good couple of months for classical music.

Take two PBS national broadcasts on “Great Performances” that reached millions.


The New York Philharmonic has a new young director, 42-year-old Alan Gilbert, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic has 28-year-old Gustavo Dudamel, the Latin Lenny whose debut concert was recorded and has topped the BIllboard chart for digital downloads of classical music.

Then on Wednesday night, the Obama White House hosted the second in a series of music event (a couple weeks ago it was Latin music) This time is was classical music, complete with young listeners and performers and classes as well as classical “stars” such as violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and guitarist Sharon Isbin (all of whom have performed in recent years in Madison at the Wisconsin Union Theater and elsewhere) plus pianist Awadagin Pratt.BellIsbin

Then I seem to recall there was a recent study that showed that young students exposed to music and art do better in their studies and later in careers.

Something seems to be in the wind.

Could it be a new respect for classical music, which has been derided in recent years for being too old, too white and too European for this contemporary culture?

One certainly hopes so.

Here are some links to explore.:

Take a look.

Take a listen.

Then tell The Ear whether what you make of the various events?

Do you think a new appreciation of classical music is in the making?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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