Ban the word “Classical”

Part 2 of my report on the Classical Music Futures Summit. Greg Sandow, our keynote speaker, touched on this idea in his speech, and it resonated throughout the day from a number of participants: Ban the word ‘classical’ from advocacy, advertising and conversation when referring to what we are talking about. Whenever this point was made a murmur of support rippled through the crowd. The past 15 years has seen a rash of books published querying and exploring the value of “Classical Music”, with titles along the lines of Who Needs Classical Music (Julian Johnson, OUP, 2002) and Why Classical Music Still Matters (Lawrence Kramer, University of California Press, 2007) as well as Who Killed Classical Music (Norman Lebrecht, Birch Lane Press, 1997). Greg Sandow’s forthcoming book Rebirth carries the subtitle The Future of Classical Music, and Alex Ross (of The Rest is Noise¬†fame) has spoken widely about the death of classical music. In short, there has been much writing

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Classical Music Futures Summit: Quick Points

I spent today (July 12) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at an event importantly titled the Classical Music Futures Summit, having scored a lucky last-minute invitation to be part of the talkfest. So lately invited was I (somewhere between 6 and 2 weeks ago, depending on how you interpret the invitation) that the sheet listing the participants, explaining who they worked with/for, what they did/had done, along with their email addresses, didn’t include me. Which was fine – I’m very well-accustomed to people asking me who on earth I am. This was my first experience at an event run by a professional facilitator, and I’ve come away from the day with a sense of awe at the quick-witted skillfulness displayed throughout the event, quickly sifting ideas into themes, managing the time-ego tug-of-war, and working to deliver both forward momentum and a sense of ownership to the participants. Truly inspiring work. I’ve also come away from the day thrilled to

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