Poll: The Biggest Classical Music Story of 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 10:37 AM

The year 2011 in the classical music world was one of financial hardships and artistic successes. The Philadelphia Orchestra and Louisville Orchestra spent much of the year in bankruptcy proceedings. The Syracuse and New Mexico symphonies folded while the Detroit Symphony emerged from a six-month strike in April with still-significant challenges ahead. New York City Opera left Lincoln Center and announced plans for a reduced touring season as a way to slash costs.

Meanwhile, the injury-plagued conductor James Levine stepped down from his post at the Boston Symphony while announcing that he is cancelling all dates at the Metropolitan Opera through 2013. Borders books closed, EMI Records was unloaded at a fire sale, and some of the biggest recording stars were not old enough to drive, notably 11-year-old Jackie Evancho and the rising "popera" group Il Volo.

The year also saw new concert halls in Montreal and Kansas City and arts organizations making new uses of technology. What do you think was the year's biggest story? What will continue to make waves in 2012? Take our poll and leave a comment below.

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Comments [6]

josh from NYC

i just can´t believe that, it´s very bad to all the lovers of the classical music, i´m just waiting for Dudamel to come but this bad news doesn´t sound good for the international artist to come into the country, here a sample of Dudamel http://www.enocmartinez.net/.... enjoy

Jan. 18 2012 01:36 PM
Michael Comins from New York City

From the Stokowski period in the '20s and '30s on through to the 21st century's first decade, the Philly Orchestra has evolved into what is arguably one of the 2 or 3 greatest symphonic ensembles on the planet. Unfortunately, what took decades to build will be torn apart in a few months by a Board of Directors full of bean counters who have no understanding of the wonderful ensemble supposedly in their care. Of 20ll's notable music stories, this is for me the biggest and most outrageous.

Dec. 30 2011 12:59 AM
William Stribling from New York City

Any bad news is bad, but, for New York, the possible demise of The New York
City Opera has got to be the worst. A newly renovated hall with the Koch name
on it, and no City Opera, what a charade and disaster.

Dec. 29 2011 10:23 PM
Julia Iglinski from Rochester, NY

We in Upstate NY would say the complete collapse of the Syracuse Symphony was the biggest story of the year. Philly's bankruptcy was, to a degree, self-inflicted. Nonetheless, it--along with Syracuse, Louisville, New Mexico, and Detroit--are certainly canaries in the coal mine for the classical music world.

Dec. 29 2011 03:27 PM

Living in NYC you would think I would have voted for NYC Opera or James Levine, but Philly Orchestra I believe is more significant. I hope classical music is not losing so much interest with people it will no longer be performed! I also think a worthy story would have been the restaging controversy of the Wagner Ring Cycle, although my timing may be off on that as it may have extended into 2010.

Dec. 29 2011 11:20 AM
Michael Meltzer

Of all the names posted, the most iconic by far to me is the near-hallowed one of the Philadelphia Orchestra. That is the news item that evoked from me, “No! That can’t be! That’s not possible!”
It is the saddest, and the most ominous of all of them for the future of classical music.

Dec. 28 2011 04:08 PM

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