The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music’s fate: What’s in store for symphony orchestras? Recordings? Opera? A major critic speaks out

November 21, 2009
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By Jacob Stockinger

This is a happy time for The Well-Tempered Ear.

Exactly three months to the day — yesterday, Friday, Nov. 20 — from when the Madison-based classical website was launched (Aug. 20), it surpassed 7,000 hits.

That’s well ahead of schedule, ahead of what I expected and what Ralph Russo and Esty Dinur of the Wisconsin Union Theater — who encouraged and sponsored the blog in the first place — expected.

So thank you, readers, thank you.

I hope I continue to bring you information and opinions you find helpful and interesting.

Please let me know what else you would like to read and see.

I’m especially interested in knowing what I can do to get more of you to leave more comments. (Unfortunately, the template doesn’t give comments a very high profile.)

And please continue to forward postings, share links and spread the word. Every hit counts –and it’s particularly satisfying to see comments from readers as far away as Japan and Australia.

But my blog’s good luck is not universal in music.

In fact, this is generally not a happy time for classical music performers, presenters and fans, what with sagging ticket sales and attendance figures plus financial woes for major record labels.

So just how healthy is classical music today?

Are you worried about the future of individual artists and groups?

What about the classical recording scene?

What can be done to revitalize classical music?

Do you worry that classical music radio — still in great shape in Wisconsin — will gradually give way to talk radio disappear?

If wonder about these issues, then you might like to look at, or listen to, the question-and-answer session with critic Anne Midgette (above), of The Washington Post, and Tom Huizinga, a music producer at National Public Radio.

Midgette answers 10 different questions that range form exciting new music and successful symphony orchestras to opera after Pavarotti.

Here is a link:

Happy reading.

And please let me know your thoughts about their thoughts.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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