Does Classical Music Need Hooks?
I’m convinced every article I read these days originates from the satirical paper The Onion. This week’s national headlines were abuzz with the Colorado Symphony’s plans for a “Classically Cannabis” concert series. Says the symphony’s CEO, Jerome Kern, "We think it's a great opportunity for the symphony to satisfy two of its needs: to reach a younger, more diverse audience and raise money. We’re not passing judgment on whether smoking marijuana is a good or bad thing."
LA Times Article: Colorado Symphony mixes cannabis and classics in 'High Note Series'
You can’t make this stuff up. Earlier this season I presented UpBeat Lives for a tremendously talented classical pianist who performed each successive concert in shorter skirts. Then there’s this recent YouTube sensation, billed as the first “classical music” Music Video ever, featuring a dance team of five attractive South Korean woman twerking to Dvorak’s New World Symphony.
You’ll note that the video has almost three and half million views, Lest you think it irreverent, the Belgian company that created the video even has thought through a deep artistic vision (justification) for their campaign to engage new audiences to classical music. You can read it here:
In trying to keep classical music vital, we are so desperate to cut above the noise, to stay culturally relevant. Are we undermining the very thing we love about classical music—that it raises our consciousness above crass commercialism, or are we finding genuine paths to connect at the vibrational frequencies of mass audiences today?
What do you think? Does classical music need these hooks to stay relevant?