If everyone is chatting about the John Cage centennial, I might ignore it or put up a critique instead. One perennial theme that more than one blog is devoted to, is how classical ensembles can reach out to find new audiences. If not enough young people are attending Haydn string quartet concerts, then let's schedule a tour in some pubs.
I'm a little skeptical, frankly. I wonder if instead of invading pubs we might not be better off figuring a way to stop people from answering their cellphones in the middle of concerts:
What I'm building up to is an article I just ran across about the fate of the Brooklyn Philharmonic who seem to have boldly formatted and outreached themselves into oblivion:
If a symphony orchestra can no longer appeal to its real base, which is probably older, more affluent listeners, then where do they go for funding?
By 2009, the orchestra had cancelled its season for lack of money. There was also management turmoil: the orchestra’s executive director, a self-styled entrepreneur named Richard Dare, came aboard with bold ideas about symphonic formats and community outreach.We are always hearing how "bold ideas about symphonic formats and community outreach" is the solution to classical music's supposed problems. Maybe, maybe not. In this case, it seems to have hastened the decline of what was once a much-loved orchestra.
If you go to YouTube and search for clips of the Brooklyn Philharmonic this is mostly what you find: