Apology, and another question answered

I'm sorry that I haven't posted all the recent comments yet. There were so many that I haven't been able to keep up with them. Many asked the questions I answered in my last post. And here's another question that people ask. Isn't the classical music audience larger than the concert audience? Don't many people buy recordings, and hasn't there been a surge lately of younger people downloading classical music? Yes to all of that. But none of it generates much revenue for classical music. Or, very crucially, much pay for classical musicians. … [Read more...]

Age footnotes

It's going to take me a few days to go on with my "Where We Stand" series. I've had to deal with the start of the courses I teach on the future of classical music at both Juilliard and Eastman, which includes a lot of work preparing materials for each course. Every year I teach this course it changes, in part because I keep on learning more. The Juilliard course outline, for anyone curious, is here. (The Eastman course is shorter version of the Juilliard course, so it makes more sense to look at Juilliard.) Now's a good time, though, to talk … [Read more...]

Where we stand (3)

Here I'll give the second of my reasons why I think the classical music era may be ending. The first was that the audience is disappearing. And the next reason is... 2. Classical music institutions may not be able to sustain themselves Prelude In my l last post, I showed that the classical music audience may well be disappearing. If that was really happening (or at least starting to happen), we'd expect to see a fall in ticket sales to classical events, and that in fact is going on. As I've said before, orchestra attendance has been … [Read more...]

Where we stand (2)

My first post in this series got more comments, the first day it was online, than anything I've ever posted here. So now I'll give my argument in more detail. My thesis, as I've said, is that the classical music era -- which began around 1800, when the classical music world as we know it now began to take shape -- is ending. Why do I think that? Here are my reasons, starting here, and continuing in later posts. 1. The classical music audience is disappearing. The classical music audience is now, on the average, more than 50 years old. There's … [Read more...]

Where we stand (1)

I've been doing historical research, as readers of this blog know. And finally I think I know enough to make some predictions. Or at least to speculate about the them. What I think I've found is that the present crisis is worse than most of us would think, and also that it's been brewing for a longer time than most of us have realized. This makes me think that the era of classical music is going to end. Not this year, not next year, maybe not in 10 years (though surely by then we'll see decisive signs of where we're going). But … [Read more...]


My book -- Rebirth: The Future of Classical Music. For a while I unfolded it bit by bit online, posting drafts, or improvisations, or riffs on what the book might say. My idea was to promote the book, and to spread the ideas in it around. To get reactions to the ideas, and to how I put them. This was invaluable, but I was never quite happy with how the book unfurled. It seemed more like something improvised, than something planned, with structure and a goal. So now I'm rewriting. Look for the first chapter soon. I'm hoping to help build a … [Read more...]