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By Charlotte Dutton
There are those who welcome change and those who resist it. Classical music patrons who fall into the latter category would have everyone believe that their choice of music is dying. When asked to elaborate, those dejected, averse-to-change listeners will cite the same signs of its imminent death that have been listed ever since the birth of rock and roll: aging patrons and half-empty concert halls. For them, classical music is engaged in a losing battle. However, forward thinking classical music lovers, who welcome and even embrace change, see opportunity rather than wreckage. It is not the music that is dying but rather, the tradition in which audiences receive it.
Although classical music tends to draw an older, “graying” crowd, not all of its enthusiasts are dropping like flies. Therein lays a flaw in cynical patrons’ point of view: their information is faulty due to its subjectivity. Perhaps older audiences appreciate and understand classical music better than other genres; maybe they were exposed to it or found interest in it later in life. Could it be that their current life experiences draw them to classical music just like the current life experiences of energetic college students draws them to pop or techno? That is not to say, however, that classical music does not have a footing in younger generations. Simply look at the myriad conservatories and music schools dotting the international landscape – it seems that almost every urban center has at least one decent to excellent music school. Read the rest of this entry »