Indie Classicalites from Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Punch Bros. (Not Andrea Bocelli & Lindsey Stirling) are Saving the Music Industry

By Ian Holubiak on Feb 26, 2014 03:26 PM EST

No, classical music isn't dead. In fact, classical music has become the latest vanity endeavor for most contemporary musicians.

Like Bryce Dessner of The National teaming up with Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead for a split release via Deutsche Grammophon, Arcade Fire's Sarah Neufeld releasing her latest classical composition Hero Brother and Chris Thile of The Punch Brothers dipping his hands into Bach on that damn mandolin of his, classical is the new norm for artistic integrity.


The recording world is reeling from declining sales is most genres--from rap to rock to electronic. And yet, the classical genre has seen a 5 per cent increase in sales for 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Despite those records not being a taxonomic "core classical" disc, the genre has seen a spill of crossover musicians working the opera and classical stage for their own side projects. Together, seemingly classicalists like Andrea Bocelli and YouTube phenom Lindsey Stirling accounted for over 600,000 album sales last year alone.

And that's nearly incredible.

No, seriously, the rock industry dipped 5.0% and country plunged 10.7% in sales. Per the last Grammys, those were the only genres we saw (with the exception of "Langtallica" and their anti-climactic performance).

Composer Greg Sandow, who teaches "The Future of Classical Music" at Juliliard claims, "All this is happening spontaneously."

"When an artist like Nico Muhly works with a Grizzly Bear, it's not so he can get a new audience. He does it because he loves the music," he continued.

With the invention of e-music archives, it seems that anything is fair game in the world of music consumerism nowadays.

To wit, here is a collab between Chris Thile and the man, himself, Yo-Yo Ma in live performance.

"Attaboy," indeed.

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TagsBryce Dessner, The National, Jonny Greenwood, Radiohead, Greg Sandow, Grizzly Bear, Nico Muhly, Deutsche Grammophon, Andrea Bocelli, Arcade Fire, Sarah Neufeld, Chris Thile, The Punch Brothers, Nielsen SoundScan

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