Classical Music’s Demise? Slate Column Stirs up Anger on Internet

A Writer is Surprised by Vitriol Aimed at his Article

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 06:00 PM

It is a particularly tough assessment of the state of classical music: audiences are dwindling, aging and not being replenished; record sales are declining; classical radio stations are turning to more lucrative formats; public schools are slashing music programs; and media outlets are altogether ignoring (or worse, mocking) the art form.  

Such is the analysis laid out in a recent article on Slate entitled, “Requiem: Classical Music in America is Dead.” The author is Mark Vanhoenacker, a widely-published freelance writer whose stories have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, London’s Independent and other publications.

The article – crammed with audience data along with a provocative headline – was the latest salvo in a longstanding discussion among classical music professionals and audiences about the health of an industry that has certainly seen its share of pockmarks. It came after a year in which New York City Opera filed for bankruptcy and several orchestras grappled with mounting deficits and curtailed seasons.

But while some believe these cases are a systemic disease, others see plenty of healthy indicators, including recent financial successes at the Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Vanhoenacker’s article generated a vigorous response, including 600 comments, scores of Twitter comments and several contemptuous rebuttals on blogs. Responders angrily pointed to various achievements in classical music – the rise of non-traditional venues like bars and clubs; the expansion of concert halls in China; Renee Fleming's upcoming national anthem performance at the Super Bowl (though she won't be singing opera arias).

What stirred a particularly strong response was Vanhoenacker’s citation of data from the NEA and elsewhere showing declines in audience participation. The New York Observer’s Matthew Kassel responds that classical music has long catered to a narrow fan base, and that the genre exists within a troubled music industry as a whole.

"The problem with the Slate piece—Slate pitch?—is that it is disingenuous,” wrote Kassel. “Being a musician today, as the music industry as a whole transitions through a rocky period and venues shutter right and left, is hard in general—no matter what style a musician chooses to play.”

Reached by e-mail on Friday, Vanhoenacker said he was surprised at the level of vitriol aimed at his story. "It's frustrating, and perhaps I did not make it clear enough in the article, that I am myself a huge fan and supporter of classical music,” he wrote. The author added that an editor wrote the headline, and that he never says classical music is currently dead but rather, increasingly marginalized by society.

Marty Ronish, a radio producer for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, disputes Vanhoenacker’s suggestion that classical music was ever financially fit or culturally mainstream. Writing on the blog Scanning the Dial, Ronish argues that "we should question the assumption that classical music was always popular, that music education was always available in the schools, or that previous generations were better at supporting opera companies and orchestras."

Other online commenters seemed to take pride in classical music's niche appeal, untainted by the excesses of pop culture.

But Vanhoenacker believes that classical musicians used to have far greater public currency, appearing on the cover of Time and other publications. He added that many readers who cited evidence that the art form is thriving were drumming up isolated, "emotional" anecdotes. “The NEA data on music participation rates dropping from 4.2 percent to 2 percent is really damning," he said. "And the demographic data on the age of audiences—it's as clear as day.”

Still, there are some who insist that Vanhoenacker cherry-picked his facts. Andy Doe, a London-based music consultant, began a lengthy rebuttal by calling Vanhoenacker’s article “poorly-researched, badly argued, and, well, wrong.”

“When an article touches a nerve, there's usually a good reason,” said Vanhoenacker. “And if this article causes institutions and individuals to take stock or to renew their efforts to expand the form's reach in America, then I'd be really happy with that result."

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Comments [36]

The Baron from Long Island City

No mystery here. The declining interest in classical music is merely a symptom of the decline of Western culture in general, and American culture in particular. In fact it is painful for this writer (an American) to put the words "American" and "culture" in the same sentence. For a pointed example, go to YouTube and watch (if you can get through it) the latest music video from someone called Nicki Dimaj.

Although the typical WQXR will likely disagree, the twin culprits in the demise of Western culture are Liberalism and its first cousin Relativism. Where all cultures and belief systems are deemed to be of equal value ("in their own way"), nothing is exceptional. As apologists for these pernicious "philosophies" like to ask - Who are WE to judge?

Plato may not have been right about everything, but he was correct in maintaining that some things are better than other things. But then again, who reads Plato anymore?

Feb. 14 2014 03:25 PM

It seems to me that the most often-played performer on WQXR is guitarist Sharon Isben - and I wonder why. I think this says something about the state of classical music on WQXR.

Feb. 04 2014 01:52 PM
A Luna from Bronx, NY

Mrs.(Ms) Nardone: I know it's just a few idiots, but in this so liberal city... you'd expect better. QXR is not so bad, I did hear Villa-Lobos the other day. Just as long as they never play "Aranjuez" or "Espana" again. It's like they have a very short play list. But classic rock is just as bad, you can tune in and within 5 minutes you'll hear "Stairway to heaven or Layla". We have become small minded.

Jan. 30 2014 03:20 PM
Concetta nardone from Nassau

Mr. Luna, sorry for the idiots out there. Yes, there is some very fine music coming out of Central and South America but QXR hardly broadcasts this.

Jan. 30 2014 02:55 PM
A Luna from Bronx NY

Barnes & Noble has reduced their classical inventory to 2 bins(not 2 isles, 2 bins!) and these usually have the Beethoven's Greatest Hits! sort of stuff. The books on classical (or jazz) music is even worse, about one shelf space! JR downtown got rid of their classical/jazz departments due to construction, but I have a funny feeling they're not coming back. Who's to blame? Is it all our faults? How can classical music have a great awakening in South America and be totally discarded in the US? Then there's also this: Waiting for the Paco De Lucia concert to begin, my uncle and I hear this uttered behind us "Oh my god, look at all the Spanish people!". Way to make one feel welcomed. I had been thinking about attending a performance of a Sibelius Symphony, but not wanting to put up with the usual amused looks and comments, I did not. So maybe, that's part of the reason. But, this has been my experience here in NYC. Are attitudes towards minorities the same across the nation?

Jan. 30 2014 11:48 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Hi Carol,
I remember Bernstein on tv and he had a program that every week explained the different types of classical music. It was very entertaining. This series was shown again on TRIO cable a few years ago. TRIO is gone and has been replaced by Ovation but they do not show concerts, etc. as they once did.

Jan. 29 2014 12:04 PM
David from Flushing

There is an article in today's NYT mentioning that the Met Opera House was 21% empty for its 2012-2013 season performances. The shortfall was described as being unforeseen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/arts/music/met-opera-reports-falling-attendance.html?ref=arts

Forty years ago, getting a ticket to the Met was not that easy unless you were a subscriber. Things have definitely changed.

Jan. 29 2014 08:21 AM

Re. Mr. Caneda: Valid points. My parents didn't really teach me, but they did expose me to good music (and I know, that's subjective). I grew up singing in church choirs, school choruses, madrigal groups (high school and college), and staged musicals.

My knowledge of orchestral music (and opera, even) took a back seat.

My siblings had some of the same exposure I did, but their tastes run more toward popular music. That said, "Classical Light" though it may be, they're familiar with Tchaikovsky themes (think Disney's "Once upon a Dream") and Borodin themes (think "Kismet").

I still have a lot to learn, and the only station I listen to is WQXR, though listening to other types of music can be just as good -- jazz and oldies provide a good grounding in the basics of composition.

Sorry, if I rambled.

DD~~

Jan. 29 2014 01:31 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

David, I just read the article. Sadly, it is an accurate description of the typical "Classic Lite" fare on the WQXR daily programming schedule.
Just this morning, they did it again - they played only the second movement of the Mahler 1st Symphony instead of the entire work, yet they have time to play the same short, light pieces over and over.

Jan. 28 2014 08:57 PM
David from Flushing

Here is an interesting article called, "Classic Failure:"

http://www.city-journal.org/2014/bc0124sk.html

Jan. 28 2014 08:25 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Very true Mr. Caneda. I was lucky in that I only had to turn on the radio and there it was. I did not teach it to my children but they listened as I listened to my music. Too much television, Real Housewives, Honey BooBoo, Dance Moms and all the glorification of very bad manners and disgusting behavior, violence.

Jan. 28 2014 07:22 AM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Very true Mr. Caneda. I was lucky in that I only had to turn on the radio and there it was. I did not teach it to my children but they listened as I listened to my music. Too much television, Real Housewives, Honey BooBoo, Dance Moms and all the glorification of very bad manners and disgusting behavior, violence.

Jan. 28 2014 07:22 AM

How much time do any of us spend teaching our kids and or grandkids, or any kids for that matter, music appreciation or music?

Jan. 27 2014 04:56 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Hello Carol,
We can enjoy and appreciate great music later in life. I started to enjoy BB King, Rolling Stones and blues and blue grass about 20 years ago. But there was fertile ground because of great music on the radio. Music hath charms.
Best wishes to all

Jan. 27 2014 07:23 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Hi, Concetta; you are correct - we are constantly surrounded by far too much ugliness and vulgarity. I think that as long as we still recognize the need for beauty in our lives, classical music and the arts will survive and thrive.
I regret that it took me quite a long time to love classical music (I am 55, by the way). I did not have a lot of exposure to it - a little in school, but not much. The only other exposure I got was from those good old Bugs Bunny cartoons!
However, little by little, I began to grow unsatisfied with the other music that was popular. When disco music (which I loathe) came out in the late 70's, that was the last straw! I said, "There has got to be something better than this!" And so there was.
One day on PBS I watched Leonard Bernstein conducting the NY Philharmonic in the Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony, and that was the moment that I began to really appreciate classical music.
It was still a gradual process for me, but I started to listen to classical music occasionally, then more and more. For the past 15 years or so, I have been listening exclusively to classical music. I am always learning something new, and I am thankful to be able to enjoy and appreciate this music.
I hope I haven't rambled on too long, but my point is that sometimes it just takes one encounter with something to make a difference in your life.

Jan. 26 2014 04:26 PM
Floria from NYC

Classical music dying???? What do you expect! All you hear is pop music, it's shoved down our throats.... from commercials to radio stations, television - television programs and the worst of all the demise of classical music in the schools through chorus, orchestra and band. How about in the home??? What kind of music is played in the home?...is there music played in the home? Can parents afford to take kids to concerts? I got classical music in my little hometown of Lorain, Ohio. Population of 60,000 when I grew up. My mother took me to the Metropolitan opera (traveling opera company) in Cleveland starting when I was 8....live performances....The Columbia Artists Community Concerts even came to little Lorain, performing in our highschool....The love of classical music was awakened in me at an early age. That was not the only kind of music I liked....I loved Rock, folk and new age....I loved it all, but classical prepared a path of a career for me. Thank you, thank you , Mom.

Jan. 26 2014 04:05 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Some of what David wrote is true but I am old and grew up listening to Italian and American radio. I grew to love music from these venues. Did not get Classical Music taught to me in schools. Is it possible that there has been a shortage of inspiration to produce beautiful music. We are constantly surrounded by so much ugliness and vulgarity.
Best wishes to all

Jan. 26 2014 02:31 PM
David from Flushing

The decline of classical music has been discussed many times and there seems to be no resolution. In my own view, the pro classical music people labor under three myths:

1. Classical music has always been old people's music.
2. Traditional music education in the schools would revive interest.
3. If only kids were exposed to classical music, they would love it.

The first myth is addressed in the Slate article and elsewhere. Concert audiences reflected the median adult age in decades past.

The second myth is dispelled by the fact that people did have tradition music classes in public schools in the 1950s, yet few grew up to like classical music.

The third is a sort of "love me, love my dog" argument. Devotees cannot bring themselves to admit that many simply do not like classical music. Most are probably aware that classical music is commonly used in public places as an aural roach powder to shoo away pesky teens.

Unless classical music can survive without a live audience, I give the form only about 16 more years---until 2030. NYC Institutions might survive given the large number of international visitors, but I foresee shortened seasons.

Jan. 26 2014 01:09 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

I meant to name the organization I toured with in my early days singing in Russian , Ukrainian, Lithuanian and other SLAVIC languages was the GENERAL PLATOFF DON COSSACKS, directed by NICHOLAS KOSTRUKOFF. They recorded exclusively for RCA VICTOR RECORDS.

Jan. 26 2014 12:36 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Worthwhile and valid comments being posted. I too would be very happy to never hear Bolero again, same with LaTraviata. There is some very fine music in the classic mode coming out of Central and South America. Not enough attention is being given to this. QXR does broadcast this music occasionally, not enough in my mind.

Jan. 26 2014 11:04 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

My compliments to each and everyone commenting. You are all right in your individual assessments of the current state of classical music and the classics generally in literature and in the stage, broadcast and arts worlds. Growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey I had the advantage of getting to New York within 20 minutes on the Hudson Tubes, now renamed PATH. All the museums were free and transportation costs were minimal. The 50 live theatre houses in the Times Square area were reasonably priced ticket-wise and one could always go standing room to the MET OPERA and the live performance theaters. WNYC, WQXR, WLIB, WNCN all carried classical music and WLIB alternated the classic with pop, jazz and the 'good oldies". I AM CONFIDENT given the young instrument students and young aspiring talents in singing and composition that the cycle will turn in a positive direction considering also the venues available and to be available in the future. I had my own program "OPERATIC SPOTLIGHT on WNYC when HERMANN was the head of the station. As guests there were leading singers from the MET OPERA and the NEW YORK CITY OPERA. I hosted the program and interviewed the guests, they sang live and often i sang duets with them. At Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, and Columbia University reunions I find my colleagues are currently being cosmetically different. Asians, particularly, represent a good third of the recent graduates. As the leading tenor [dramatic] singing 6 or 7 selections at each of our concert dates in the USA, MEXICO and CANADA in hundreds of cities, mostly large ones, we found that our rep was popular even where the ethnic backgrounds did not reflect any SLAVIC ancestry. I BELIEVE IF THE PERFORMERS ARE STANDOUTS THERE WILL BE NEW and LARGER AUDIENCES. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, an opera composer, "Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare" and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where singing technique and where ALL the Shakespeare and Wagner roles are coached. My websites where one may download, free, my singing of 37 out of the 100 selections that I have sung in four three-hour-long solo concerts at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall by going to Recorded Selections; www.WagnerOpera.com, www.ShakespeareOpera.com and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. Roles that are represented in my singing to be heard on my websites are:Otello, Tristan, Siegfried, Goetterdaemmerung Siegfried, Parsifal, Siegmund, Walther von Stolzing, Florestan, Federico, Orfeo Eleazar and in oratorio, Judas Maccaebeus.

Jan. 26 2014 11:00 AM
Jeff from Jerusalem, Israel

The author may have "cherry picked" statistics to bolster his case but the statistics he did present do paint a gloomy picture of classical music (in the U.S). At least one of the problems, which some of your readers has pointed out in this forum, is that only the most popular pieces are played in symphony halls and on the radio (WQXR included). If we are to educate people of all ages to the fact that classical music is a living art modern pieces must take pride of place. This is not an argument against Beethoven, Mozart and Brahms, but stations such as WQXR can help shape people's musical education by including a larger number of modern composers. And it doesn't have to be scary, "atonal" pieces. Anyone that listens regularly to WQXR's sister channel Q2 knows that there are many wonderful tonal, modern pieces; however, if they are never played on the best known stations they will never be listened to. I would love to see more cooperation between WQXR in promoting the music that Q2 plays and Q2 itself. It is a small thing but education takes time.

Jan. 26 2014 04:12 AM
Alexis

Personally, I found it frustrating that the Slate article ignored how the economy has effected classical music--the recession hurts the middle class, so people don't have money to buy concert tickets.

http://thewiseserpent.blogspot.com/2014/01/classical-music-isnt-dying-its-in.html

Jan. 26 2014 01:31 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I agree with the previous comments regarding the "dumbing down" of our society in general and of classical music programming on the radio and in concert halls. It seems that many people are not willing to take the time and effort to actually listen to (as opposed to using as background music)and appreciate classical music. Attention spans are shrinking; everyone is in a rush.
Another thing that bothers me is that unfortunately, some orchestras feel the need to resort to gimmicks to get people to buy tickets to their concerts. Just look at the ad on this page for the NJ Symphony Orchestra - "Music of the Beatles: Classical Mystery Tour" - what's up with that? This season they will also be performing the music of Led Zeppelin(Huh?), "The Wizard of Oz with Orchestra" in which "you can even dress up as your favorite character and win a prize!", and "Cirque de la Symphonie", which will include "acrobatic feats performed in perfect timing to classical music."
Classical music does not need this kind of "help"; I think this makes matters worse, because now people will always be looking for the next new thing instead of appreciating the beauty of the music for itself.

Jan. 25 2014 10:12 PM

p.s. I agree with all of the comments re. "dumbing down" of classical programming. On the few occasions that I do travel and find a local classical station (and on WQXR, unfortunately), I don't need to hear Mozart, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Mozart, Rossini, Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms every day.

I'd also like to hear Copland, Vaughan Williams, Couperin, Bruckner, Schubert, Buxtehude, Stravinsky, et al. And if I never hear "Bolero" again, I'll go to my grave a happy man. And I definitely do NOT want "Bolero" or the "Pachelbel Canon" at my funeral/memorial service.

DD~~

Jan. 25 2014 07:01 PM

I'm of two minds here. I attended two concerts at Carnegie Hall recently that were well attended -- but not sold out. (At one, there were only two of us in row W.)

My first visit to the Miller Theatre at Columbia also was well attended -- but not sold out. Weather might have been a factor in all three.

This afternoon, I attended a free concert (a great pianist) and there were no empty seats. Granted, it was a smaller venue (250 seats vs. Miller Theatre's 670 or so), but classical music is not dying.

I'm pushing 60 and I'm sometimes at the young end of the audiences. Today, however, there were quite a few youngsters (20s-30s) in attendance. So there is hope.

DD~~

Jan. 25 2014 06:47 PM
TWS from NWNJ

While the article may be full of bombast it is not entirely inaccurate. As a member of the old audience that attends concerts I can vouch for the statistic indicating a lack of youthful attendees. But I also study cello at the Olive Tree academy here in New Jersey. And the school is full of bright young faces studying the classics.

Jan. 25 2014 04:11 PM
Susan Levy from Brooklyn, NY

Unfortunately, the trend in education to eliminate any subject that can't be tied to standardized testing is a major factor in the waning interest in classical music. Art, music, and the school library are the first targets of the budget cutters. (I'd add physical education to this list but the anti-obesity crusaders are having some success in preserving it.) Cash-strapped school districts no longer take kids to hear the Philharmonic or see Shakespeare plays. It's sad; I've always thought that one of the purposes of public school was to expose kids to things they WON'T learn at home, to lead them beyond the limitations of their parents or neighborhoods.

Jan. 25 2014 02:08 PM

First, I don't know of any writer who doesn't cherry pick stats to support their hypothesis. Second, It's good of you to talk to the author and report that he wasn't against classical at all... just calling out the elephants in the room.
Third, I think these and other elephants are important magnets for attracting new listeners... because the general population doesn't see anyone in the classical industry addressing their issues. When some do address those issues, curious people will start to trust, learn more and gradually have positive conversations about classical. As part of the Classical Revolution movement, we are on the ground ("underground", if you like) meeting the people where they live, to simultaneously introduce classical in new ways and create a continuing presence of fine art music in pop culture... to encourage people to decide for themselves if they want to upgrade to traditional concerts.
Fourth, all of us speaking up in defense of classical need to act by sharing these feelings with family and friends who avoid classical. It can be as simple and fun as turning on the radio and conducting a piece for them. Classical may be serious... but NOT "as a heart attack".

Jan. 25 2014 01:51 PM

Ed Duff from Kissimmee, FL

Unfortunately I live in an area that has NO Classical Music programming on the radio. When I moved here 13 years ago WMFE was broadcasting about 8-10 hours a day of classical music, albeit dumbing down programming, including single movements from Symphonies, Concerti, etc. The station turned to talk radio about 4 or 5 years ago. However, even in that endeavor, they are unable to fill the hours they have, and so repeat several programs, sometimes more than twice a day. I have found in my travels that Europe's classical music scene is far healthier than here in America. Other than my own large collection of classical music CDs I rely on online programming for my music. I'm afraid the dumbing down of America is partly responsible for this situation. Reality TV shows are a good example. I find nothing on TV except for movies and an occasional long standing program (i.e. Jeopardy) worth tuning in for.

Jan. 25 2014 12:04 PM
MaryJo Wagner from Denver, Colorado

Don't agree with all of the Slate article and certainly don't have the numbers or research to argue in a meaningful way. Can only talk about my own personal experience. 1. I do keep track of the trends in elementary education. Many school districts across the country have dropped their music programs (art classes and physical education programs too) in favor of more time spent on material needed for passing required standardized exams. I certainly don't support it. 2. The audience for the Met Opera Live in HD at the theater where I see is not simply aging, it is elderly. This modern theater in a new mall shows all the popular films. Its "regular" audience is certainly not "aging." 3. I frequently hear of yet one more classical music radio station biting the dust. And the one here in Denver which is going strong financially is increasingly "dumbing it down." The commentary before and after a selection is often silly and ahistorical. Recently they've begun dumbing down the programming. There's now considerably more light classical music (Strauss waltzes and the like) than in the past. (I listen when I'm away from my computer so can't get WQXR online.) On a positive note, Colorado is home to several excellent summer music festivals in addition to the well-known Aspen Music Festival. They are thriving--at least for the time being. And, one would assume, bringing in summer tourist revenue for the state.

Jan. 25 2014 11:45 AM
Steven Rudin from Massapequa Park, NY

On a hopeful note: I am a retired public school orchestra teacher. Now I only work with private violin, and viola, students. There seems to be tremendous interest in learning to play these instruments. There are some very strong school music programs in the New York area, where I live. And I have enough students to keep very busy during the school year. So maybe the future is brighter than it seems. They have predicted the demise of classical music many times before. It hasn't happened yet.

Jan. 25 2014 11:09 AM
Bernie from UWS

I don't think classical music is dead or dying but it does need an infusion of fresh thinking from people who can speak the language of mass culture. For too long the artform has sleepwalked through changes in our society. It's not "dumbing down" to suggest that the art form needs to get out and sell itself to the non-initiates better. What Miss Fleming is doing by singing at the Super Bowl is the right idea. Grab people's curiosity and hope they come back to hear her do something more serious-minded.

Jan. 25 2014 11:08 AM
Philip Elliott from Toronto, Ontario

If anything, what I notice is that the major cities seem to be playing 'popular classics' won't mention any specific NPR stations.

I developed my love of classical music in Canada listening to CBC Radio 2. Programs that would educate, stimulate the mind. Thanks to this, I developed my huge love of classical music.

If you get a chance, listen to some of the European networks, while yes another language, it's a breathe of fresh air.

I will say that I DO believe that actually going to a concert is NOT a dying format. My FIRST trip to the Metropolitan Opera nearly 2 years ago was virtually sold as was a Cleveland Orchestra concert 3 years ago.

I think the problem is to loose the 'dumbing down' of classical broadcasting. There will ALWAYS be those of us who 'find' classical radio and never go back to anything else.

Oh, on a 'dumbing down' note, our CBC Radio 2 did a horrible about face in 2008 and CANNED virtually ALL of it's quality classical programming and went to a 'hodge-podge' format of 4hrs/day of classical and some other weird type of music. I have NEVER listened since

Jan. 25 2014 08:49 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

The thought of beautiful music dying is very sad. We need beauty in our lives whether from music, art, etc. Without it, we just wallow in our not so noble instincts. When I was a youngster, there was beautiful music in our popular culture. We listened to Italian radio, and I was lucky to grow up listening to beautiful music. American popular music also provided me with great music to listen to. I was truly blessed to have RADIO.

Jan. 25 2014 07:32 AM
Sanford Rothenberg from Brooklyn

Norman Lebrecht wrote "Who Killed Classical Music?" in 1997,and the argument has raged on since.There have been some bad moments for classical music recently,but it is continuing on,if sometimes appearing to be on life support.

Jan. 25 2014 01:03 AM

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