20. April 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Quotes

What depresses me is the way that classical music is constantly chasing after techniques of the pop sector, and ending up, like a paunchy middle-aged man squeezing himself into a pair of tight blue jeans, looking a bit silly and terminally uncool. The interesting kids I know today with open musical minds aren’t the slightest bit interested in the charts: they have the confidence to listen to what they like and explore without reference to such crude and naff indicators as “the Top 20” – something they rightly think of as granddad culture.

Why can’t classical music learn something from that confidence in one’s own taste? Why must it jump up and down and dress itself up and pretend to be what is isn’t? Why can’t it stand aside from hype and ephemera and the silly business of judging success by numbers, and instead focus on its deepest strength – feeding a deep and serious appetite for art in which quality isn’t judged by its place in a weekly sales list?

-Rupert Christianson




  1. Well said! And maybe that trust would translate into a larger audience as the listeners discover what works for them…

  2. Sadly, there’s too much focus on “the bottom line” these days, which leads to situations like this. The thought is, “we’re not making enough money,” or “we’re losing the young people,” which of course creates a panic. Next thing, they’re trying anything to look cool or inviting to the younger crowd. On a rare occasion it works, but more often than not it seems either forced or false.

    Classical music shouldn’t have to pretend to be something else. After all, what better selling point than to say this stuff is so good, we’re still listening to it some two centuries later?