The Dutch musicologist Kees Vlaardingerbroek has written a provocative article arguing that preferential treatment for female and minority composers is alienating audiences and writing the white male out of musical history.
He writes: The dangers of this assault on heritage should not be underestimated. The Amsterdam Concertgebouw does not have a future without Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. A forced replacement of the great masters by female contemporaries or composers with non-European roots will irrevocably lead to destruction of public interest, to empty concert halls and eventually even their closure. And Amsterdam without the Concertgebouw is just as unthinkable as Paris without Notre Dame. It is a mistake to think that ‘our’ past must be rewritten or destroyed because it has an unmistakable dark side. That dark side must not and cannot be denied, instead, it has to be discussed even-handedly. At the same time, it is cynical and destructive to deny that Western musical history has brought forth incredible wealth. Let us enjoy that wealth fully and without feelings of guilt.
Read the full article here.