Classical music needs to be reborn. I'm helping to make that happen. I want classical music to rejoin the world all around us, the world we share with the people we know — so many of them! — who don't listen to classical music. Why don't they? Because we don't let it speak to them!
"We have a powerful art form.
But we keep it in a cage."
I do research to help us understand how we got in this trouble. And to help us understand just how bad the trouble really is.
I also offer solutions — ways to bring classical music back into our culture. Some are ideas of my own, but more and more, as classical music changes, they're things others have done. Sometimes inspiring things.
And I work to make change happen, as a teacher, blogger, and consultant. Since I'm a musician — a composer — my help can go beyond new ways of marketing concerts, or presenting them. I'm happy to work with the music itself.
From darkness to light
The classical music crisis — what forms does it take?
Falling ticket sales, imperiled funding. Fewer classical music radio stations. Fewer newspapers with classical music critics. And an aging audience — dramatically aging, since studies from past generations show far more young people going to classical performances than we'd ever see now.
How will we fix this?
We'll do it together. More and more people think what I think. They contact me, they comment on my blog. They tell me their projects, their dreams, the ways that they're changing classical music.
Could this be you? Email me! We're a growing community. We need each other. Changes are sweeping through our field. Dramatic changes, explosive changes, happening everywhere.
We can also learn from the past. Classical music once wasn't nearly as formal as it is now.
And in the future…as the crisis gets worse, the changes grow more compelling. They snowball.
And soon — not too many years from now — a new generation will take control. Then we'll see a tipping point. And classical music will be reborn.
Spreading the word
And I've spoken widely in the US and abroad — commencement addresses at Eastman and the Longy School of Music, a keynote speech in Australia, a debate at Cambridge University in England, and so much more.
Plus visits to many music schools, including residencies at Bowling Green State University and Florida State (done jointly with my wife, Anne Midgette, chief classical music critic of the Washington Post).
You can look at my Resources page for more, and my Archive page for things I wrote during my many years as a classical and pop music critic. Both pages are still being built, a few things are there now.
Here's where my own future is. I've done projects with classical music institutions, including the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. And I've done consulting (Introductory rate: $300 for two hours of time with you, via phone or Skype, or in person).
But it's time for more. The highest priority for classical music is to build a new audience. I'd like to work on that with anyone who wants to make it their highest priority, too — soloists, ensembles, institutions.
I've been artist in residence at the University of Maryland, helping students at the school of music find an audience their own age. I want to do more things like that. Who wants to build a serious fan base? See my Four Keys to the Future for ways to do that. It won't be easy. But it can be done.