Can Classical Music Be Cool Again?
The audiences attending symphony performances and classical music concerts has been dwindling for years, and the solutions offered have been many. From ensembles created more for their beauty and novelty then their talent, to orchestral rock music concerts like The Machine performing Pink Floyd in hugely successful shows with the San Diego and Pittsburgh Symphonies, purveyors of classical music are doing all that they can to attract new audiences.
The tide may finally be turning in their favor and two very different artists serve as examples of the shift. D.I.Y. artist Zoe Keating is an avant garde cellist with no label and no agent. But with the help of her 1,082,000 + Twitter followers and some YouTube vides, she obtained the number one spot on iTunes classical music list.
And this week youthful conductor Gustavo Dudamel received a rock star greeting as he took the helm of the prestigious L.A. Philharmonic. As the AP reported, "he arrived at his first rehearsal wearing trendy black sneakers and a persistent smile that showed the sheer fun he’s having directing one of the world’s premiere orchestras….As the 28-year-old conductor arrived at the gleaming Walt Disney Concert Hall …
Wednesday with his ballerina wife, Eloisa Maturen, he greeted onlookers with a fist bump and hugged musicians….Later he told reporters at a standing-room only press conference, “Classical music is cool,” and they seemed to believe him."