When did your interest in classical music begin? Childhood? Late in life? In between?
Here's an article by Matt Aucoin, a nineteen-year-old college student, who goes to symphony concerts (when not listening to Radiohead and Arcade Fire), and asks that question of his fellow concertgoers. The answer he gets prompts his own thoughts on the much-debated theme of the "graying of the audience" -- and his own recommendations.
My first CD was Mozart's Eine Kline Nachtmusik, along with the concerto for flute and harp. I still have it today. I've listened to classical since I was very young. My parents enjoy it, but prefer classic rock. I always found instrumental or at least choral music better. I always thought the solo human voice sullies the harmonies of the instruments (I've since grown to appreciate it), but I feel true music shouldn't require a guy on the stage to explain in words what he's feeling. True music is music that stirs the soul, reaches deep inside us and offers communion with the composer's own mind and emotions. You don't need lyrics to feel Beethoven's agitation in the Kruetzer sonata. And even though his ninth symphony has a choir, everyone in the world, no matter how poor their German, can understand the message of joy. Music is our one universal language. And although cultural relativists dispute it, when music is well written, everyone can understand it's inherent message. In the words inscribed on a German opera house, "Bach gave us God's word, Mozart gave us God's laughter, Beethoven gave us God's fire. God gave us music that we might pray without words." Music exists to elevate us, to impassion us, to inspire us. It exists to give glory to us and to our eternal Father. I'm 23, and I listen to the best music ever written. When my peers deride me for listening to classical, I simply ask them to let me know when their music is still being performed 300 years later.