Opinion: Pandemic may offer opportunity for classical music to gain new audiences

Posted on: June 25, 2020

Before the coronavirus pandemic, “the Seattle Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic had been … attracting an urban and near-suburban core of younger adults to their regular concert series,” writes David Rohde in Tuesday’s (6/23) Wall Street Journal (subscription required). “One of their insights … was to stop confusing the fact that younger adults don’t know classical music with the idea that they don’t like classical music…. Trying out something new comes naturally to younger Americans if they have a trusted endorser. Try this experiment right now: Go to YouTube and pull up any video of the Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 10, Second Movement…. Tell me you are not blown away. But in acting as your influencer, I’ve saved you from the mountain of inside-baseball program notes.… It’s time to push out the good stuff to new fans. This includes transitional pop-to-classical material—such as daring videos by the flamboyant piano duo of Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, covers of pop anthems by the Philadelphia-based Dover Quartet, and bluegrass-inflected new works by Kentucky-born classical violinist Tessa Lark…. More than one era has been labeled the Golden Age of the Piano, and … the time may be ripe for another one.”