Death and classical music, round three

The Washington Post’s classical critic Anne Midgette is none too pleased about Mark Voenhacker’s Slate piece declaring classical music dead. The first graph:

A few days ago, Slate ran an article announcing the death of classical music. It was a badly written article. It opened with some sensationalist statements written in a kind of faux-cool journalese that’s calculated to provoke and turn off most classical-music lovers, and it continued with a whole bunch of facts and anecdotes strung together without any attempt to link them or bring them to an actual conclusion.

Like Midgette, I don’t agree with Voenhacker’s death pronouncement. Midgette calls him out on the carpet for being sensationalist, for writing click-baiting headlines, and for generally not being the solution to the problem he’s so eager to identify. Fair enough.

All of the feelings.
All of the feelings.

do think it’s a subject worthy of serious exploration. We’re dealing with people’s livelihoods so it’s good to tread carefully, to use a reasoned and considered approach.

don’t think this is an argument to be won or lost on op-ed pages of newspapers. The battlefield is at street level. It’s at box offices and performance halls. This is about hand-to-hand combat, the winning over of the classical music audience, once again.

We need better marketing, better outreach, and a common touch that’s proven very elusive for the music as a whole.

Now accepting ideas.


By Will Roseliep

Writer for different outlets. Personal work appears here first:

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