Saving Classical Music, which is what exactly?

Ever since the Music Council of Australia-hosted Classical Music Futures Summit held in July (and in all honesty probably since I was in high school in the early 1980s) I’ve been thinking about this issue of ‘saving’ classical music from its uncertain futures, rescuing this immense tradition from unthinkable oblivion and unthinking ennui. And in all of my nearly 30 years of thinking about it, this notion of salvation has bothered me immensely. It’s the anti-evangelist in me, without doubt, but it seems to me that salvation is always transitory, conditional and even illusory. And the idea that salvation can be imposed upon a thing really only makes sense if the thing is a building about to be demolished, or a person on death row. But let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and accept that salvation can be offered, proffered and successfully accepted when we apply it to the entire field of classical music. What is it exactly that

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Something to Report After All: Classical Music Futures Summit

Turns out the Music Council of Australia have been hard at work facilitating participants of the Classical Music Futures Summit contributing to the final reports from the breakout discussion groups, a Steering Committee has been assembled, and the first meeting of this committee has already taken place. Which is a whole lot more than my nothing to report blog from a few days ago. I had nothing to report because my email address hadn’t been included somewhere along the way, so the loop didn’t have me in it. The wonderful @JohnofOz (that’s his twitter name, if you meet him at a concert he’s John Garran) had asked me if this was #justanothertalkfest, but it seems it was certainly not that, but rather #justanotheradminbungle. Since the steering committee have met just a few days ago I imagine there will be communications forthcoming in the next few weeks, and hopefully some interesting moves to create a better future for ‘classical’ music. One

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Classical Music Futures Summit: a Month Later: Nothing to Report

It was July 12 that the Classical Music Futures Summit was held at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, with participants ranging from private music teachers through to composers to arts marketers to radio broadcasters to artistic administrators to university deans to … bloggers! Nearly everyone there was not simply one of these things, so there was a considerable sense of understanding across the sector, no real sense of divide between participants. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that “classical” music has a niche audience that is shrinking. Inside that niche there have been success stories, but this against a backdrop of perceived dumbing-down and increased pressure to find sources other than subsidies to keep budgets balanced. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that a cooperative approach to making a cultural shift (and to securing an improved future for classical music) was preferable to an ad hoc approach. I reported that at the conclusion of the day it had been decided

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