The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Young Classicals like pianist Yuja Wang and violinist David Garrett are using social media and YouTube, controversial dress and in-your-face behavior to make classical music – and their own careers – relevant and prosperous.

November 20, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

I call them The Young Classicals.

They include increasingly familiar names like pianists Yuja Wang (below top) and Lang Lang, and string players like the Gauthier Brothers, David Garrett (below bottom), Charlie Siem and Lara St. John (at bottom, playing Bach with rock club lighting and a trapeze artist) and others.

They are changing the classical game.

For better or worse, depending on your point of view.

They use social media like Facebook and Twitter.

They use YouTube and other promotional means.

They dress irreverently and flamboyantly.

Or don’t dress at all (like Lara St. John, who posed nude for her CD of solo Bach).

They say irreverent things. Or they tease the public.

They grab the public’s attention, and don’t hope for it or wait for it.

They are very media savvy and they like weird and arresting visuals.

Media hip, if you will, they mix genres and cross boundaries.

They are like audio-visual cross-dressers.

They are The Musically Transgenre-ed, so to speak.

And so their careers are flourishing – and attracting more listeners and new audiences — at a time when prognosticators say classical music is generally in Big Trouble.

First, here is a set up piece with some great videos:

Then here is the follow up story by Katherine Boyle that is referred to:

I’m sure there are more stories and columns that are relevant.

If you know of some, let me know with a link in the Comments section.

What do you think of The Young Classicals?

Do you have favorites?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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