Classical Music is….Undead?

One of my pet peeves is the insane and fruitless pursuit of new audiences with marketing techniques that are so insincere and gimmicky, that we end up losing audiences! From Guitar Hero contests to DJ’s at an Opera house to $50,000 being spent on a cupcake program, it seems we try to do anything we can to pretend we don’t play concerts but just have big classical raves.  However a student brought to my class something that is on the surface a gimmick, but actually is a sincere link between pop culture … Continue Reading

Nashville: (Classical) Music City!

We often write about things that go spectacularly wrong.  In Nashville it seems to be going spectacularly right!  When I read about the NSO’s new marketing strategy for “young people”, I started to draw my sword. I’m not a believer in a strategy that is at best insincere and at worst untruthful, as it always seems to end up alienating a “young” audience and is discriminatory.   Not so in Nashville….

What if Classical Music actually functioned as a business?

I am struck by a dichotomy this morning. Like many “classical” musicians of my generation I have a really strong interest in Rock, Jazz, World music, just about anything that strikes my fancy. You could call me part of the iPod generation that way. So I also study the business of the Other Side of Music. In today’s NYTimes is this very interesting article on 360 deals for rising bands. Suddenly my brain drifts into a fantasy —–

Through the Looking Glass

The Year of Living Dangerously in the classical orchestral world continues.  This time we get an interesting twist on the standard with the West Coast edition.  After a while it’s hard not to get desensitized to all the bad news out there.  Then I ran into a civilian.

Meshugass in Michigan!….

Pssst…paging Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), you might not have heard this but the economy is in the “tank” right now, so using the economic impact of the arts to convince the governor to not eliminate arts funding might not be the best tactic! It might make the arts go the way of the Sphinx…wait!…in fact Sphinx is actually the way you should go…..

Critical Mass(acre)

It happened again, this time in Lyon. There is that moment sometime after the first performance when someone in the administration of whatever orchestra I’m conducting says “have you seen the reviews?” – and I know that “the Moment” has arrived.

“How to be a Classic Snob!”

This is the title of a very tongue in cheek article by Joel Stein that appeared last week in the LA Times.  It is a wonderful essay demonstrating that we might be better served if the stereotypical “classical” policeman stayed at home and listened to their stereo instead of attending a concert….