The Well-Tempered Ear

Can music predict the Super Bowl winner? And how do we fix classical music – if it needs fixing? Performers and the public respond

February 6, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s a tip for Super Bowl Day, which is today (kick-off time is 5:30 CST on FOX): Can music predict the winner of today’s Super Bowl games between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers? Give a listen to this analysis on NPR:

By Jacob Stockinger

Perhaps the most the common theme of classical music today – at least in North American and Europe, although not so much in Asia – seems to be: How do fix classical music?

That of course assumes that classical music is broken.

And to many observers it is broken – judging by concert attendance, by record and CD sales, by the lack of young audiences.

So NPR’s classical music blog “Deceptive Cadence,” under the able leadership and inventive leadership of classical music producer Tom Huizenga (below), recently posed the question to important performers as well as the general public.

The answers range from having less formal concert settings, such as bars and coffee houses, and using less formal concert dress to playing more basic works or more contemporary music to changing the name “classical.”

Here are some links:

NPR also used some Classical Resolutions (for the new year) to discuss the issue:

Here is one from Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes (below):

And another from American pianist Christopher O’Riley:

And another from Baltimore Symphony conductor Marin Alsop:

And one from a favorite pianist of mine, young Jonathan Biss:

And one from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, who concerto “4 for 3” will be performed by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra on Friday, March 4:

And there are many more from many kinds of musicians:

What do you think of what they say and the solutions they propose?

Do you have your own ideas about fixing classical music?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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