Starting Next Month, Neo Classical Will Have A New Voice

For more than three years it has been my pleasure to write Neo Classical here at The Partial Observer. Nevertheless, the time has come for a break and I’ll be taking a sabbatical for the next several months. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean Neo Classical is going anywhere. In fact, during the time I’m away there will be another voice stepping in to fill the void. I think it will be refreshing for everyone to have an opportunity to hear about the future of classical music from a new perspective and throughout the … Continue Reading

April Is Take A Friend To Orchestra Month – 2007

Take A Friend To Orchestra is back for its third year and is bigger than ever. If you’re not familiar with what Take A Friend To Orchestra (dubbed TAFTO) is all about, it is an opportunity for the people who care the most about classical music to participate in a proactive way. Throughout the month of April, TAFTO will feature music critics, bloggers, musicians, conductors, classical music enthusiasts, and administrators as they write about how average patrons throughout the country can invite friends who don’t regularly participate in live music events to a performance in their area.

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Status Still Counts

You hear it all the time these days, “Classical music ensembles are playing better now than ever before.”

I don’t think this is an unreasonable statement and I would wholeheartedly agree that orchestras and opera companies which were barley more than civic groups 15 years ago are now full of talented, professional musicians delivering a string of excellent concerts.

But what exactly has that increase in artistic quality accomplished? Are professional ensembles located in the proverbial artistic outskirts being noticed? Do they have as much impact as their elder cousins in New York, Boston, and Chicago? Do they have enough clout to make the cultural consciousness wake up and notice a new vehicle for delivering classical music?

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Rules To Live, Er, Listen By

I don’t usually use this column as a personal soap box but a series of bad concert experiences have pushed me over the limit. In most circumstances, I am among the first group of people to stand up and declare that the typical classical music concert environment is too stuffy, oppressive, and elitist for its own good. I think the business of shushing people who want to clap between movements is silly and dress codes at everyday concert events, implied or explicit, only serve to keep people away. Nevertheless, it seems as … Continue Reading

“The King Is Dead. Long Live The King!”

Over the past few years, several prominent classical music pundits have been proclaiming the death of classical music recordings. Contrary to that, classical music advocates have been steadily countering those claims by painting the purveyors as prophets of doom and gloom. Like a tennis match, both sides lob statistics back and forth trying to discredit the other. Nevertheless, the method which classical music recordings have been produced and consumed in the past is, in fact, dying. At the same time, there is undeniable proof that newer mediums for consuming classical music recordings … Continue Reading