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Classical Notes

"They are looking for something human and personal"

Posted at 12:01 PM on October 8, 2008 by Gillian Martin

There's been a lot of talk about the audience for classical music in particular and the fine arts generally getting older--with the corollary that eventually the whole audience will die off, and then where will we be?

An article by Diane Haithman in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday debunks that idea with considerable humor, and also talks about what audiences are looking for from arts events:

"[W]e did some research five or six years ago about audience motivation that showed that today people come to a concert to be moved in some spiritual sense," [says Jesse Rosen, executive vice president of the League of American Orchestras.]

Not that symphony halls are encouraging baby boomers to wave cigarette lighters to Beethoven's Ninth -- but for both the young and the "new gray," Rosen says, the concert experience now has to be about something besides the music.

"They are also looking for something that is very human and personal that connects with them," Rosen says. "Being moved emotionally and spiritually, the experience of being touched by live performance -- those are the messages."

Read the whole article here.