Is Classical Music Dying? Pianist Charlie Albright Ponders the Thought

By Philip Trapp on May 30, 2016 07:43 AM EDT

Is classical music a dying genre? Today, classically trained pianist Charlie Albright shared an enlightening opinion piece on the art form's contemporary detriments and the forgotten but time-honored traditions that he feels should make a comeback.

In an article for CNN, picked up by KCCI Des Moines, the musician discusses the various reasons that younger listeners are progressively avoiding classical. Pointing out the strict, modern rules of classical concertgoing, Albright pines for a time when spontaneous applause at a moving instrumental passage wasn't condemned.

Albright illustrates the futile practice of sternly forbidding passion in a recital, on both sides of the orchestra pit, yet expecting positive reactions from the music:

"It wasn't all that long ago when classical music was fun. People went to concerts for a variety of reasons: to be moved emotionally, to be entertained, and as a social event, to name a few. Performances were a chance for artists and audiences to connect on a level unattainable in other media, as a form of mutual communication."

Pontificating that these communal and exhilarating aspects of classical music are gone, Albright admonishes a return to those simpler and more enjoyable times -- he states that it is good for the sedate and musty modern practices to now subside.

Columnist Bill Zuckerman follows that same train of thought. In an article for Musical School Central, the author states that the uniformity of today's classically trained players is a stagnant proposition. He postulates that the genre cannot grow without uniqueness in performance: 

"The problem with classical music is that the classical musicians who work in this field are taught and uniformly praised for achieving a set of values that are exceptionally homogenized. In other words, nearly all classical musicians getting their education in music schools are praised for working towards and achieving the same goals."

Below, listen to Charlie Albright's animated version of Johann Strauss' "The Blue Danube" waltz. Let us know what you think of the pianist's opinion piece on classical music's current standing in the comments section -- we'd love to hear from you.

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TagsClassical Music, Charlie Albright

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