What I’m going to talk about — but not quite yet — is whether this new audience could be found outside New York.
Or in other words an updated version of the “intellectual audience” Virgil Thomson identified in 1950, an art audience that went to certain classical events, but by no means was a classical music audience. The present version of it, if it really has emerged, is a terrific bright light for classical music’s future.
- At City Opera’s Monodramas. (Remember that repertoire like this — Schoenberg’s Erwartung, Morton Feldman’s Samuel Beckett opera, Neither, and a new John Zorn piece — doesn’t please the standard opera audience, and that the audience on hand for the premiere, when I went, was large, eager, and wildly enthusiastic, and so obviously couldn’t have been the usual opera crowd. And didn’t look like that crowd, and was quite a bit younger. The house was so full, and the crowd so massive, that the performance started 20 minutes late. This was an Event, capital E.)
- At Lincoln Center’s White Light festival.
- At Lincoln Center’s Tully Scope festival.
- At the Tune-In Festival at the Park Avenue Armory (produced by eighth blackbird, and something I sorely regret that I missed)
- Last season at the New York Philharmonic’s triumphant performances of Ligeti’s Le grand macabre (subscribers turned in their tickets, and the Philharmonic then resold those seats to excited, younger single-ticket buyers). And also, from what I hear, at other Philharmonic concerts where Alan Gilbert conducts new music.
- Each spring at the annual Bang on a Can marathon
- A few years ago at two concerts of contemporary orchestra music, produced by Wordless Music
Not a short list! And there may be more events that should be on it — maybe the Met performances a few years ago of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, which the company marketed to an audience that’s not the usual one. Please, everyone, give me more — tell me anything I’ve missed.
So something really, really seems to be going on. But can it happen outside New York? http://www.artsjournal.com/sandow/2011/03/so_satisfying.html