05. August 2005 · Comments Off on We Be Cool? · Categories: imported, Ramble

According to The Wave Magazine, classical music is hip and cool. They say

Not since the controversial film version of the equally controversial novel A Clockwork Orange revived interest in the chap Alex and his “Ludwig Van” droogs has classical music been rising so steadily on the barometer of cool. While we may be a long way from downloads of Chopin outnumbering those of Coldplay, the entertainment and lifestyle landscape is becoming increasingly peppered with classical music, played by (and for) the hip crowd.

And part of me scratches my head and of course the other part hopes they are right.

But I have kids, so I see a lot of kids, and I’ve rarely seen even the ones who play instruments or sing get too jazzed about a classical concert. I can rarely get my own students to concerts, in fact.

The groups that the article mentions and the works they play leave me wondering as well. They chose four groups, and one is actually more about the concert than the group.

Music@Menlo is, I think, geared toward the young performer, as well as any people who love classical music. They do have a fantastic program from all that I’ve heard. (I’ve never had the opportunity to make it up to anything due to my own music schedule). But this festival runs for all of about two weeks.

San Jose Chamber Orchestra really is a great group, and does seem to pull in a bit of a younger crowd, but the hall is small and easy to fill. The programs are creative and fun, and I love every minute of working with the orchestra.

When they mention Symphony Silicon Valley they say we put on a concert featuring the music of Final Fantasy games and the hall was filled with the younger set. Well, yes, we did that and yes, the crowd was wonderfully young. But the symphony was hired to go up to a gaming convention in San Francisco to play that concert; it wasn’t something we put on ourselves. Our typical concerts are full of the white haired crowd. Trust me, I know. I’ve sat up in the balcony and looked down on all those heads of hair!

Lastly they mention the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Well, I can’t speak for them, but the article does. I guess they are popular. I guess they are the “hot date” ticket. I guess they are sexy. And sexy sells.

So I’m not saying the article is wrong. I’m hoping, in fact, that it is correct. I just haven’t seen the evidence. But maybe I’m out of the “cool and hip loop”. (That wouldn’t surprise me!) So this is something I’ll be pondering, and you can bet I’ll be looking at the heads of hair again this year. (Opera San Jose starts soon. Yay!)

I can tell you that an oboist never looks sexy when he or she is playing. It ain’t gonna happen, folks. Our embouchure only makes us look bizarre. Notice you’ve never seen an oboe player take the leading role in a movie? Cellists work great (why are so many cellists so good looking?), flutists are okay, trumpet players are, of course hot. But oboists? Nope. Not us. 😉


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