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Don't they worry about the attrition rate? They should - so much of the audience for orchestral works (not just here in NYC) is of my parents' generation. They'll be falling off their perches soon enough. The Met seems to be getting in a younger audience, from what I've seen.


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One of the reasons a musical piece resonates with a person is its relevance to their experience or their lives. I believe any music that makes a connection with a person at any level that is relevant to their life or experience will move them. If we are talking about a musical artistic product, then it must have moved the artist. The question is how many other people connect with it? As one example, the anger in so much hip hop does not connect with me and so the music seems largely irrelevant, and so much noise. It is necessary to listen to a piece with enough attention to discover whether it moves one? How many people do that. How many people make a snap judgment on superficial hearing and lose the piece entirely?


To prove your point, a lot of hip hop is joyful and quite funny. To be honest I think I can find something to like in just about any genre, but it really depends on how much time I have to do the digging.


Unrelated comment -- I don't have enough personal experience to make any definitive assertions, but is it the case that european audiences are a little more open to experimentation when it comes to the arts? We travel in some fairly conservative circles in Germany and I am always surprised at how much more open people seem to be to stuff that just wouldn't fly with audiences in Philly, for example.

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1. Prometeo is in the "quaint" twelve-tone style. Enough water has gone under the bridge that this music now seems like mainstream classical in a way that much contemporary "avant-garde" (I hate that term actually) classical music doesn't.


Nope. Now that I've checked, I take back this point. I was thinking of an earlier piece.


(My other points remain.)



You are probably thinking of Canto Sospeso. One of the interesting things to me about a lot of post WW-II 12 tone music is actually how spectacularly little it has become more accepted. Boulez's Structures or Stockhausen's Kreuzspiel are still amongst the very toughest nuts to crack I think. If Die Soldaten is only a one off, but does the same, that's still an exciting thing. It is well worth going to by the way.


As for Wilfrid's point about the visual arts, this is something I've thought about a lot. i think one of the biggest causes of resistance to music is that one is giving up time in a very fixed way. Prometeo is going to last for 2 hours, like it or not, you can't walk away and move on to the next painting or ask your friend what they think that yellow splodge in the corner is doing there. So I do sometimes think the medium is fundamentally unsuited to the nature of modern life sometimes.


The good news is that the audience for new music is at least younger and fresher than that for the standard orchestral rep. I'd be more worried about the long-term viability of the conventional orchestral concert than composition itself to be honest.

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The one thing that I love about going to Philharmonic concerts is that, no matter how old I may be, I realize that there are people who are A LOT older.

You should come up to Marlboro in the summer. With the exception of some of the participants, their children, and now sometimes even their parents :blink: , we are very close to the youngest. And have been for almost 30 years.


H. duB: They are all concerned. That's why there are things like those "rush hour" concerts. Dunno if that helps any, though.

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At the Rochester Philharmonic last year, I swear I was the only audience member who didn't have white hair.


I think the student rush program is a noble one, but I see the NY Philharmonic's issues as being ones of programming. Last year I was looking at their upcoming season schedule, and there just wasn't anything in there that called out to me. It was just the same old, same old.


I think they need a shot of something new. Or something old, but dormant (by necessity wonderful, but long-forgotten).


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