I’ve gotten e-mail from Alexander Mills, a student in London, with some questions he’d love answers to. He hopes to get some from readers of this blog, so with his permission, I’ve simply copied his e-mail here. I’ve edited just a little, to keep it focused on the questions.
Before I begin, I would just like to say how fascinating I have found your blog. I stumbled across it earlier whilst doing research and have put it straight to the top of my favourites list.
Particularly interesting were the discussions about MUSO magazine, and the associated comments about popular culture. I am studying lifestyle journalism in art college in London, but I am also a classical pianist. For my final year, beginning next month, I have to produce a magazine, a new title, my own concept. I am going to produce a classical magazine for young people, recognizing the niche in the market the MUSO has began to gnaw successfully away at.
True, MUSO have beaten me to it to some extent, but I see them as being ‘the first’ to do it, and I want to take on board what they have done but also try to improve upon it.
My questions are a.) What, fundamentally, do you think a classical music magazine for young people should include? (Should it be purely about young, pretty musicians? classical music performed by young people? The content of more conservative classical magazines but in a more upbeat, targeted and ‘young’ presentation and angle?)
And b.) – After congratulating MUSO for what they are achieving, what do you think MUSO could improve on? Is there a gap in the publication’s content? Are there still strings to MUSO’s bow that need to be played? Do you think it is too ‘pretty’ and too ‘fashion’?
ESSENTIALLY – what do you think a classical music magazine for young people should be like???
I am very very keen on getting as much feedback as possible on this, particularly from viewers of your blog. I hate to intrude, or risk being cheeky, but do you think you could ask your readers the same question? i.e. “what do you think a classical music magazine for young people should be like???”
It would be such a great help!
Speaking only for myself, I’m most interested in what prospective readers of the magazine might think. My ideas might or might not be good, but it’s the readers, ultimately, who make a magazine succeed or fail. (And in fact it’s like this in many questions affecting the future of classical music. Many of us have ideas, not least me, but what actually works is more interesting, ultimately, than any ideas we might get attached to.)
But what do others think? What should this magazine be like? Post your thoughts as a comment to this blog entry, and Alex and I will be very grateful.