Now musicians can serve on the battlefronts by taking classical music into restaurants, clubs, homes, even offices. Not as a last stand, rather to feed classical into the soft vacuum of curiosity. The occasion is a premiere or a launch of this fabulous music to wash the masses whether background or foreground. Music feeds the hungry, heals existential pain, waters the seeds of understanding and self-reflection, and repairs social disconnection. Traditional concerts can remain special, exceptional, highbrow occasions; as long as our institutions also offer compelling alternatives for the broadest public with meaningful access.
Sure, everyone hears classical moments from movies, TV, Christmas & July 4. If the average American doesn’t know why or how to go beyond rubbing the surface of instrumental music, at the end of the day, nor do they have any opportunities to try. If classical music institutions, while needing a flood of new ticket-buyers, donors and goodwill, don’t know why or how to create real opportunities to expose & answer the unasked questions that keep potential new fans in avoidance mode, will we the musicians rally with effective culture-bridging; with events that reset the context for classical music both inside and outside of the arts?
Considering these perceived barriers, drawing new fans to concerts might seem a fool’s errand. We love that music can comfort, move and inspire us. And now music is everywhere. It’s familiar and interactive, and loaded with social context, a strong beat and personality. Pop music’s lightness inspires the masses, and us, who’ve experienced singing and dancing as cathartic.
- So who needs classical music’s heaviness?
- Who, and what, is classical music really good for?
- And if it’s so good, why is it confined to silence?