Monday, January 24, 2005

I'm Depressed

My heart for classical music ached when I read this painfully yet intuitively true post by Greg Sandow at

For the benefit of my Juilliard class -- and because I don't know any writing that sets forth, in full gory detail, the extent of the classical-music crisis -- I'm going to list some of the ways classical music is in trouble. I'm taking this from remarks I made on a panel at the music critics' conference in New York back in October.

1. There's less media coverage than there used to be, maybe drastically less. In the early '80s, as a critic/columnist for The Village Voice, I could write long and serious classical music essays. They don't run anything like that any more. The New York Times used to review every debut recital; they don't do that any more. Some newspapers don't even have classical critics. In 1980, Time magazine wrote about classical music twice as often as it wrote about pop; by 1990, the proportions were reversed. This isn't some evil media plot, as some classical purists seem to think. It's a change in cultural weather, the natural result of people being less interested in classical music than they once were. The editors who make these decisions simply share the taste of their readers.

Ugh, and 14 more reasons follow. . . .