PEIKEN: Music Hall has intimacy issues and young adults aren't coming

Changes should reflect generational shifts

Classical music isn’t dead, and this isn’t a eulogy, but the concerts coming from symphonic orchestras are long overdue for a heart transplant.

Few things are better at inducing sleep than the formality of the concert experience: Performances are measured by how true they mirror the composer’s intent, with little room for interpretation or spontaneity. Cavernous concert halls devour intimacy. Audiences are discouraged from applauding between movements. When the applause comes, on cue, musicians stand expressionless, like robots. 

No, the music isn’t dead, but the experience is.

As we evolve and adapt through generations, so do our tastes, our attractions, our expectations. It’s natural we should also want our mediated experiences to evolve.

Become a WCPO Insider to read a two-step plan for attracting young adults into the symphony concert hall and preserving orchestras in the decades ahead.


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