Karl, Your "preaching" is, of course, right on target. As indicated by
their comments, unfortunately, many of today's young people EXPECT their
"entertainment" to be easily accessible and seemingly so simple that
absolutely no effort has to be expended to "enjoy" it.
As far as their suggestions; Sure, some of them would make "classical"
music more accessible to a wider audience, but would it still be what
we love as 'classical music"? Dumb it down, use rock instruments and
have the musician's in jeans and tee-shirts--Brilliant!
As a presenter who has a "graying" audience population. I simply find
it sad that there is such a lack of interest in "serious" music by a
younger potential audience. However, I'm not going to change the way I
present concerts to drag in the "20-somethings" who would rather be in
a singles bar anyway.
As an aside, there exists a Knight-Ridder survey which was commissioned
a few years ago which gathered detailed information about the listening
and attendance preferences of the populations of (15) major US cities
which all had symphony orchestras. They found that although the average
age of audience members was increasing, it matched the increased life
spans of the general population, so was not actually increasing relatively.
In addition, they found a relatively constant percentage of the population
that had any interest in "serious" music. As I recall, the population
numbers were something like:
12 to 15% will occasionally listen to "classical music" on recordings
or radio 10% might attend a free "classical music" concert 3 to 5% will
pay for seat at a "classical" concert with the demographics weighted
toward people who have had access to higher levels of education (and
presumably more disposable income).
An audience of "millions" exists in the U.S. alone. Maybe we should
be happy with that fact and hope that by the time the college freshmen
of today are in their 40's and 50's they will have matured and have also
developed a taste for good music. Remember, the "kids" who are today
eating at McDonalds will probably be dining at 4-star restaurants and
drinking Grand Cru wines in 30 years.
Norton Building Concert Series