By Leeta Liepins
Music in general has never been more accessible than it is now. This is due to the vast amounts of new technology and so many more independent recording companies representing an ever-widening range of musicians across the genres. My question and concern is how to keep classical music relevant in today’s world. One of the reasons that certain artists are more popular than others is due to the fact that the product is presented in two parts: those being the auditory and the visual. ‘Fans’ attend live performances to experience the performance through both senses. When young musical talents grasp this concept, they can then communicate with a larger audience regardless across the age spectrum.
Lang Lang provides an excellent recent example of how to present classical music as a non- exclusive entertainment experience. By doing so, he has amassed many younger fans. The resultant performance is fun to watch, and while bending some of the ‘rules’, still maintains the integrity of the music he plays. He does this without alienating the older devotees, and keeps the music dynamic, exciting and traditional. Classical music with a twist.
Most well-known classical composers were commonly known to have combined different styles (or to have borrowed from artists before them) to create and ultimately contribute to the evolution of music as we know it. It is interesting to note that many of the popular contemporary musicians of today grew up learning to play a classical instrument as an introduction to music. Now we can see and appreciate the influence that this important genre has had on the young musicians of today. These new artists will continue to have a significant impact on making classical music great again. The performance aspect of their art will reach a new generation of listeners, and as such, continue to make classical music attractive to more than just the elderly and the designated intellectual set.
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