Survival of Orchestras Requires Trying Something New

Remember when your folks kept encouraging you to try new (and sometimes weird-looking) foods, saying, “How do you know you don’t like it if you haven’t tried it?”  Well, I’m going to say much the same thing to you now, except this involves music.  As we were growing up, we enjoyed our favorite music, but always anticipated the next new release.  Sometimes we liked it, sometimes not, but we gave it a chance.

A switch seems to get flipped at some point in our adult lives, rendering us incapable of trying anything new, musically.  Nico Muhly…who’s that?  Eighth Blackbird…what kind of name is THAT for a group?

While music lovers the world over are bemoaning the dwindling audiences in many concert halls and musical isolation brought on by i-Pods, i-Phones, and the like, those gadgets don’t have to sound the death knell for classical music.  Rather, they can aid in the survival and revival of the art form.  Imagine how much a new Beethoven or Mozart piano concerto was anticipated by audiences.  They didn’t say, “Oh, Lully and Vivaldi are it for me.  You can have your Mozart.”

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the excitement and anticipation of something new.  My suggestion is this…while you may not be one to walk around plugged into a pair of ear buds all day, some exploration online can accomplish the same thing.

One of the simplest things to do is to pick a composer you’ve heard on Classical 101 or seen mentioned in one of our blogs and go looking for them.  Nico Muhly, and pretty much any other composer you’ve heard on Classical 101, is going to have a website where you can explore other music they have written.  Michael Torke, Joan Tower, Michael Daugherty, and  Conrad Tao are just a few of the artists whose music has been heard recently in Columbus, as well as on Classical 101.  Another thing to keep in mind is that, while most all of us recognize works such as Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Mozart’s Eine kleine nachtmusik, etc., I can tell you that this music is a completely different experience live.

We all have our favorites, but who knows, you might have a new favorite out there just waiting to catch your ear.  It’s worth looking at season listings for our local arts organizations and doing a little checking around.  You can also contact us here.  Anyone at Classical 101 would be willing to speak with you about a concert or composer, or direct you to someone who can.

Try it, you’ll like it…and your local performing groups will be forever grateful.

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