In Sunday’s (4/25) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “With its series of musical events last year, the White House has already started to send a signal that the arts are an important part of our nation’s life. And it’s wonderful that classical music was part of the mix. But I worry that part of the signal—especially where classical music is concerned—is that the arts are a duty more than a pleasure: good for us, but a little dull. I fear that President Obama spoke for a majority of his generation when he expressed his concerns, before the classical music event in November, about knowing when to clap. I think the strongest message the White House could send to our nation about classical music is that it’s actually enjoyable. … I suggest that the White House dispense with classical music convention and start hosting shorter concerts: half an hour, 40 minutes, 20 minutes…. Have the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach, give a short piano recital. Have the general director of the Washington National Opera, Placido Domingo, sing.”

Posted April 26, 2010