Here is a link to an interesting new story from the Polyphonic.org website. New music is a tricky thing to program. Audiences often want to hear nothing but the “B”s–Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Without new music, however, there is no forward momentum to classical music. A Northwestern University (where I went to college) there are bound programs from the Chicago Symphony dating back to its earliest days. It is disturbing to page through one of the program collections from the 1950s or 1960s–change the date on any one concert program and it could have been a concert that the Chicago Symphony performed this season. The core concert repertoire has been set in stone ever since this time period. This is not the case in the visual and other performing arts. There are established masters in the worlds of visual art, dance, and theater, but new material is being developed and enthusiastically received (some more than others) all the time. I see this happen much more in the other artistic disciplines than in classical art music.
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