As culture migrates online during pandemic, classical music is front and center

Posted on: April 6, 2020


In Sunday’s (4/5) Washington Post, Michael Andor Brodeur writes about “the unprecedented moment classical music is experiencing right now, as it forges a new place in culture for itself … finding more paths than ever to listeners. Part of this phenomenon is … that we associate classical music with relaxation, and that’s in higher demand than hand sanitizer right now.… Maybe ‘relaxing’ is the wrong word; but there is certainly something soothing about recognizing the emotions we’re feeling now in music cast forth through hundreds of years. In times of crisis, we turn to this music…. This tendency has a lot less to do with what the music on the page presents than with what it represents: permanence…. Classical music gives us something beautiful to listen to, but it also gives us an experience of certainty, a structure we trust (the sonata form is itself an institution), a way things should go. It may be why classical fare has figured so prominently and so boldly into the mass migration of American culture online. My social media feed this week has been a virtual mob of quarantined musicians reaching deep into the past for works to pass the long days at home, and light the way forward.”

Lura Johnson, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s guest keyboard, performs a live-streamed recital posted at the orchestra’s new online platform, BSOmusic.org/OffStage, and at its social-media platforms.