Where’s Martha? Sharing in Shanghai

The indefatigable Argerich is sharing her wisdom with the future.

See here.

 

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  • She seems to be on a roll at the moment. There’s a schedule for her for the current season that you can find on line and she’s in for more than 50 dates over the next few months. Long may it continue.

  • It is not only in China, but even in Erdogan’s Turkey(strangely enough) the audiences for classical music are growing, if the reports are correct. The dumbing down of education & culture have contributed to greying of audiences in the west. The repertoire regularly played in concerts & opera are also very limited and conservative, which does not help. Even in Germany I have witnessed empty halls, particularly in chamber music, but also in orchestral concerts. If the situation is like that in the homelands of classical music, there is no surprise situation is dire in the USA. Afterall, the dumbing down of culture began through all pervasive American influence after the end of second world war.

    • Very valid points, Germany may be suffering from an excess of supply: perhaps they don’t need quite so many opera houses, orchestras etc though they provide employment for musicians from other countries. Greying is an interesting issue especially for chamber music. Ar we seeing a generation that will not be replaced, or will the middle=aged of today get to like string quartets in 15-20 years?

      • Ottawa, Canada, has a 2-week annual Chamber Music Festival in venues all over the city. Some are relatively small and it is not unusual to see line-ups outside them for hours before concerts, and people I know take their holidays then so as to attend as many concerts as possible.

        MANY of the attendees are young — in a city that has all kinds of music festivals in summer, it is still a draw to young people. They claim it is the biggest chamber music festival in the world.

    • There are always multiple factors at work. And how gray the audience is depends on where you are. I went to the Elgin Symphony near Chicago a few weeks ago and yeah – very gray audience! At the Minnesota Orchestra and Des Moines Symphony, much better mixes of ages. I have hopes of their being enough young people coming up to help support the concerts through my old age!

      As for “dumbing down” of culture by us Americans…. Eh, did we hold you Europeans at gunpoint and say, “Dumb down your culture or else!” Yeah, didn’t think so.

      Yes, American classic music institutions do some questionable things to get more fannies in the seats – my current pet peeve is “movie nights” with classic movies where the orchestra plays the music track live. (Very distracting: I don’t know where to direct my attention.)

      BUT if you don’t like that, you just ignore it and go to the “Classics” or “Masterworks” series concerts. I would like there to be *more* of those, but this is what we have with a limited audience pool and, for the larger orchestras, very highly paid players to…pay. Which is less of a problem if you have, say, government subsidies for the music organizations like they do in…..Europe. {;-)

      • Up here un Canada many orchestras do that movie-night thing, but they are included in Pops series. Can’t think why a classics fan would be at those anyway (unless they were featuring something from his wider tastes). I never go to them — perhaps subconsciously for the same reason you do, perhaps because they have never offered a movie I am interested in seeing again.

        But I always think they are featured in Pops series because there is a limited amount of material for the Pops “genre.” I see the same sort of thing being recycled year after year. They are limited, of course, by the amount of popular music scored for orchestra. That’s why you see the same offerings popping up again and again, and at orchestras all over North America. They are literally playing from the same songsheets.

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