Friday (9/14) on his blog Thoughts on the Symphony, cellist Peter Sachon writes, “Orchestras should think with a larger artistic world-view—not simply because their very survival depends on their willingness to embrace artistic change, but mostly because that’s what serious artists do.  In programming, the choices available to orchestras are severely limited by the classical industry’s insistence that symphonic genres submit to a caste system. In the caste system bread-and-butter classical symphonic music is naturally the top caste, with places in the middle for New-York-Times-approved composers. At the bottom you will find the untouchables—movie music, Broadway, and video game music … With the current system, particular kinds of new music are meant for particular kinds of audiences. Classical subscription concerts are for traditionalists. Modern music concerts are for students and critics. Pops concerts are for other people. It’s as if orchestras do not want the various audiences to be in the same room at the same time. … Challenging programs could mingle composers one never sees on the same program. Nico Muhly with Kurt Weill and Bernard Herrmann, or Franz Schubert with Adam Guettel and Gabriel Kahane, or Thomas Adés with Nobuo Uematsu and Ludwig van Beethoven. John Williams and Richard Strauss. Stephen Sondheim and Gustav Mahler.”

Posted September 18, 2012