Changing fashions in classical music publicity

Posted on: August 21, 2014

“Once upon a time, classical musicians posed for publicity shots by wearing their tuxedo or concert dress and standing with their instrument held respectfully by their side or cradled carefully in their arms. Smiling was optional,” writes Pip Coats in Thursday’s (8/21) Australian Financial Review (subscription required). “Sometimes they would be photographed in situ, especially pianists, who looked quite dramatic when captured with one or both wrists suspended in the air on the cusp of landing a resounding chord. But in recent years I’ve been struck by how much classical music publicity has changed, to the extent that often it’s not even clear what the performer’s area of expertise is. … Certain professional ensembles have embraced their own publicity style that, I’m guessing, is supposed to convey the message that there is no chance you will fall asleep during one of their performances. The Australian Chamber Orchestra has been doing it for years: members are photographed leaping mid-air while thrusting their instruments in alarming directions (hopefully not the 1714 Guaneri on loan to them), their hair flying about and their faces expressing maniacal delight.”

Posted August 21, 2014