Another step forward for classical music and the environment. I’ve complained before that classical music organizations seem clueless about anything green (or at least never talk about such things). So — just as I praised the New York Philharmonic for taking an environmental step or two — I’m happy to note that the Glyndebourne Festival is doing something big. By 2010, they’ll have built a wind turbine, to supply much of their energy, and reduce (or so they say) their carbon emissions by 70 percent.
Good for them. It’s really important for classical music institutions to take steps like this, not just for environmental reasons (though they’re the most important), but to help classical music’s image. Many people who love classical music firmly believe that it’s a superior art, and that it has an ethical weight missing from popular culture. Whether this is true or not would be another story, but those who believe it need to understand that classical music needs to live up to this image. If it’s ethically superior, it should act that way, and we’ll all be better off.
I wonder, though, if the truth isn’t more unfortunate. Since classical music depends on outside funding, and because large classical music institutions depend on a lot of outside funding, I can understand that they’d be cautious. Cautious, among other things, about offending major donors. So they might not want to take outspoken stands on current issues, though you’d think that by now the environment was something just about all of us agree on.