On Friday (1/24) at WQXR’s blog, Brian Wise writes about the “vigorous response, including 600 comments, scores of Twitter comments and several contemptuous rebuttals on blogs” written in response to Mark Vanhoenacker’s January 21 article at Slate entitled Requiem: Classical Music in America Is Dead.  “The article … was the latest salvo in a longstanding discussion among classical music professionals and audiences about the health of an industry that has certainly seen its share of pockmarks.… Responders angrily pointed to various achievements in classical music—the rise of non-traditional venues like bars and clubs; the expansion of concert halls in China…. What stirred a particularly strong response was Vanhoenacker’s citation of data from the NEA and elsewhere showing declines in audience participation. The New York Observer’s Matthew Kassel responds that classical music has long catered to a narrow fan base, and that the genre exists within a troubled music industry as a whole…. Andy Doe, a London-based music consultant, began a length rebuttal by calling Vanhoenacker’s article ‘poorly-researched, badly argued, and, well, wrong.’ … Said Vanhoenacker, ‘If this article causes institutions and individuals to take stock or to renew their efforts to expand the form’s reach in America, then I’d be really happy with that result.’ ”

Posted January 27, 2014