Good times for classical music?

The NYT thinks so: Check the Numbers: Rumors of Classical Music's Demise Are Dead Wrong

As a fan of classical music, this is news I am happy to hear. The article, though it cites national statistics, is understandably New York centric: not only is the Times published here, but New York is undoubtedly the center for classical music in North America. I would have appreciated greater attention to how classical music has fared elsewhere in comparison to New York.

In addition, the encouraging numbers cited in the article make one wonder how many of the business decisions against classical music that have been made were based on little more than ill-founded rumors of its demise.


Anonymous Ron Ratney said...

"New York is undoubtedly the center for classical music in North America." How could it not be considering the huge well-educated population in the city and its surroundings. However I live in Boston and would suggest that on a per-capita basis, Boston is a much more musical city (Classical that is) than New York. Besides the Boston Symphony Orchestra there is the Handel and Haydn Society which concentrates on historically informed performance, a couple of less prestigious orchestras, innumerable chamber music groups, four music schools. In season there are more than half a dozen significant musical events a week.

06 June, 2006 00:21  
Blogger ginsbu said...

I think you may be right about Boston. Having attended university in the area, I remember the active classical music scene well. However the centrality of New York lies not so much in the absolute or per capita size of the classical music scene here, but in its status as a "must stop" for tours and musicians building their careers. London may well be the only other city with this status in the world. (Tokyo too maybe? I really don't know.)

06 June, 2006 02:05  
Anonymous Ron Ratney said...

Agreed. However I think London beats New York in terms of the quantity and variety of classical music offerings. But I don't know the relationship from the musician's point of view. What would be more significant: a solo debut at Carnegie Hall or at one of the major venues in London; at the Met or the Royal Opera?

08 June, 2006 09:16  
Blogger ginsbu said...

That might well be so—I don't know London first-hand—nor do I have any sense of what impact playing particular venues in these cities has on one's musical career. Being no great fan of New York in general, however, it wouldn't surprise me if musical quality was being sacrificed, like so many things in this city, on the altar of pretentiousness.

08 June, 2006 12:14  

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