The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Orchestras, players (Lang Lang) and operas are using new media and texting more raise funds, to program pieces, to circulate critiques

July 31, 2010
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By Jacob Stockinger

Those of you who read my review of Opera in the Park two weeks ago saw that, for the first time, the Madison Opera was using texting as a way to raise money for the annual outdoors event that drew 14,000 this year — much the way texting has been used to raise money for victims of the Haiti earthquake and other causes.

But the Madison Opera is hardly alone.

Other orchestras, opera companies and individual players are increasingly turning to texting — which appeals to younger audiences especially — not only to raise money, but also to choose repertoire (voting for encores, for example) and even to file immediate and populist critiques of a concert.

Here is a story from The New York Times that reports on how texting was used at a recent concert in Central Park by the New York Philharmonic (in honor of guests from the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, below top) with superstar pianist Lang Lang (below bottom), who recently switched labels from Deutsche Grammophon to Sony.

As a reward for texting in their votes, participants received a discount offer on a new Lang Lang 2-CD recording “Live in Vienna (below), which features music by Beethoven, Albeniz, Prokofiev and Chopin) and is set for release Aug. 24,  and an invitation to become his electronic “friend.”

I find it a fascinating read — and a telling glimpse into the future and how classical music is revising its “traditions” and using new media.

Here is a link:

What do you think of classical musicians using texting?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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