In last Sunday’s (12/27/2009) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “Digital revolution. It was the catchphrase of the 2000s, and it affected classical music as much as any other medium. Downloads brought the classical recording industry to its knees and rendered the standard format of the $25 CD an endangered species by decade’s end. But downloads also led to a wider consumption of classical music. Artists found that there was less advantage to an affiliation with a major label, and went out and made recordings on their own—from classical stars such as violinist Gil Shaham to the pianist Simone Dinnerstein and other free agents. Institutions learned to sell tickets on their Web sites, and the Metropolitan Opera broke ground with its live HD broadcasts, a new way to bring high-class classical music to a wider audience. And while YouTube created a symphony orchestra, its real service lay in making a treasure-trove of great recordings available to a young audience.” Midgette’s ten-item “best-of” list includes the launch of iTunes, the rise of Gustavo Dudamel, and the construction of several new concert halls.

Posted January 4, 2010