What’s going on

I may have just taken my longest blog hiatus, or at least the longest I’ve taken without planning and announcing it.

What happened: two days last weekend of flat on my back illness, followed by trips to Washington (for Peter Gregson’s talk and performance at the University of Maryland), then back to NY, then out to the country for a happy visit with my inlaws.

In the middle of all that, and into the bargain me not feeling well, the blog got lost.

Tomorrow the whirlwind keeps whirling. I fly to Chicago, to do workshops Tuesday on the future of classical music for the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago (which invited me to visit, and arranged the other event). Thursday I’m speaking in NY to a conference of music directors and other music staff members from public radio stations around the country.

Can’t complain that it’s not a full life!

And to briefly catch up on things from the recent past:

My two-hour session with students from the Yale School of Music is now online. It was streamed live, and then archived. You can find it here. If it comes across well online (I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet), it’s a good sample of how I work with students. And the subject we talk about — finding an audience the students’ own age — is my favorite, these days.

(I’ll have to say more about my Yale visit. Apologies to my friends there, in fact, for not getting it on the blog yet. So many fascinating things came up, with lots of relevance for all of us.)

Peter Gregson’s performance in Maryland. Finally I saw the concert he’s done several times at home in Britain, where he plays (solo cello, or electric cello), and people from the audience (live and/or online) tweet and text comments, which get displayed in real time on a video screen. It works wonderfully. Such a smooth and easy — and lively — way to bring the secret thoughts we all have during concerts right to the surface. Conversations develop, and Peter, of course, can glance at the screen and respond.

Plus I’ve learned more about what he’s doing, and among much else, he may have begun to solve — or anyway find one solution for — the problem of making alt-classical music financially sustainable. More on that later, too. Peter seems to have tapped into an audience that isn’t supporting (and isn’t likely to support) mainstream classical events, but which has money enough to support the kinds of things he does. And that many other people outside the classical mainstream do. This is the first glimmer I’ve had of alt-classical sustainability. Or at least of a way, in theory, to attain that. Coming up at the end of next week, when I’m back in NY.

speak on Tuesday at the Institute for Cultural Policy of the University

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Comments

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