John Terauds, the classical music critic for the Toronto Star, writes in a recent column that younger audiences are turned off by crossover efforts, and just want the “straight stuff”.
If young people weren’t interested in classical music, even $5 would not get them through the door.
My epiphany of 2007 came at an all-Gershwin pops concert this fall. It played to a half-capacity house made up largely of seniors.
It became clear that the TSO’s younger fans want pure classical, not crossover offerings.
“I would agree with you that many tsoundcheck patrons are often quite serious about their music,” answered “Tess” to a posting I left on the tsoundcheck forum. “When I was at U of T, I noticed a lot of students getting really excited about the big programs â€“ Mahler, Shostakovich, Bruckner, etc. In general, the tsoundcheck trend does tend towards the masterworks concerts,” she added.
I won’t argue with that, except to say that something has happened over the last four decades or so – orchestras are having problems drawing audiences, donations and funding. If just playing straight ahead classical concerts was what everyone wanted all along, why did we end up wherever we are right now? (And I say “wherever we are” because depending upon who you read, classical music is either entering a new golden age or the last nail is being pounded into its coffin.)