Bob Commanday writes in today's WWW.SFCV.ORG -
...Pick any city, look at its newspaper, and you'll find attention
to classical music diminished to the basic minimum. It will focus
on the "big ticket" events - which, in the Bay Area, means the
San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet, plus the most celebrated
visiting artists. As is well-known to any person interested in
classical music, such coverage just skims the surface.
Who's responsible? Newspaper publishers and their editors who
have a hand in setting policy and then executing it. What to do
about this downgrading of classical coverage? Go to the editors
and lay it on. If you're representing a performing or presenting
institution - say an orchestra or concert series - then get your
board members to put on the pressure. The higher their standing
in the community, the more important and effective their pressure.
Editors don't answer mail, count on that, but they just might
read what comes in. At least they'll become aware of the volume
of protests and complaints.
The great newspaper disappearing act is having a horrendous
effect on the responsiveness, awareness, and involvement of the
public. This is happening in music as in other areas, but not
just because of the reduction in reviews. While reviewing classical
music performances is fundamental to the music critic's job,
it's just part of it. The field is more properly described as
music journalism, because it incorporates many functions besides
reviewing. Music journalists write advance pieces to arouse
public interest in coming events, cover music news in the local
community and around the world, and produce columns or "think
pieces" that discuss issues relevant to music and its institutions...
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