Future of Classical Music: Coffee Reading Round-Up

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To tide you over until I get the next post up on my Wild Theory About the Future of Classical Music, I wanted to share a few links that have surfaced recently on the internet. They all touch on the issue of the future of classical music in many interesting and different ways and make for a good read if you’ve got a few minutes.

  • First off, Greg Sandow – who actually teaches a whole course on the future of classical music at Juilliard – has raised the provocative question: what is classical music? (A trickier question to answer than you think!)
  • One of my favourite blogs to follow is that of Colleen Dilenschneider, who works for a research company known as IMPACTS as Chief Market Engagement Officer. Colleen takes the data that IMPACTS produces and comes up with fascinating and data-based insights into how arts and cultural companies can better engage their audiences. While she is predominantly speaking to the museum sector, her findings hold very true for the world of classical music. In this recent article, Colleen discusses the concept of Negative Substitution – how many new people are you getting in to your organisation as older customers leave? (I recommend looking down the bottom of the article to see some sobering stats on how people answered the question: is this art form for people like me? The answers aren’t completely encouraging for the orchestra business, but at least provide us plenty of opportunities to grow!)
  • This one has been around for a few months now, so apologies if you’ve already seen it. California Symphony have recently started a project called ‘Orchestra X’ where they talk to Millennials and Gen-Xers about the potential barriers to them attending and enjoying classical music. And then how they acted on them. It’s a lengthy but awesome read.

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