Why “A future for music?”

It seems to me that people have been debating whether or not music has a future for as long as there has been music, but in the last 15-25 years, that discussion has taken on a new urgency.

Is there a classical music crisis? Are we marketing music wrong? Are we giving the wrong kinds of concerts? What do we do about an aging audience? In an age of austerity in Europe and dwindling philanthropy in the USA, how do we fund the arts? What is art music’s place in society? Does it have one?

My personal feeling is that as musicians, our problems are society’s problems, and in order to have a future for music, we’re going to have to better understand the problems, challenges and crises of society as a whole.Music is floundering because society is floundering. Letting people clap between movements or burning our tuxedos isn’t going to secure a future for music. Bettering the world just might.