I come to you today as an ambassador of ANOTHER LOOK AT MUSIC, a project aimed to bring back the excitement of listening to the past, present, and future Art Music.
How can CLASSICAL MUSICIaNS Address young audiences TODAY?
Dear classical musician friend, what is your contribution to building new audiences for classical music? When you were studying, did someone tell you that you had to engage your audience? From the audience perspective, I can tell that there is a great distance between us. Even if you have updated your looks and you are active on social media, when a classical musician is on stage, generally old rituals are in place. Some artists may propose formats imitating pop concerts, and a few manage to succeed, although the quality of the musical experience is not worth what many classical musicians really want and have worked hard for. This also may explain other initiatives, like home concerts… After all, the power of classical music is that it is a personal experience more than a social one, isn’t it? Individuals through classical music can recover time to reconnect with themselves and find balance in their lives in order to able to confront the world. This is especially true for young people, and to me, this explains that they often turn to their music with their headphones in solitude. Therefore, it doesn’s make sense that classical music doesn’t appeal to most young people.
How can a classical musician attract young people? Classical music is not music from the past, but timeless music played by present musicians, many of them really young too. What is in the past is that the composer, the author, the first creator of that music, lived in the past, in other times. But any composer was a human being who confronted human experiences, just like ours. This is actually what new art musicians and listeners can find when reaching them through their music. Moreover, a present classical musician should introduce and express himself in order to reach a new listener and genuinely connect at a human level. Most websites from classical musicians are designed more like professional cards in search of professional opportunities, instead of spaces to engage audiences. Nevertheless, we can wonder if it is really for performers to introduce classical music to the audience and introduce new generations to our common music legacy?
These are personal reflections that I share out-loud hoping this contribution can be useful to start designing new Art Music experiences for next generations. In ANOTHER LOOK AT MUSIC, we would love to hear from you!