Why We Care About Music
Karl Paulnack's Welcoming Address to students entering the Boston Conservatory.
This TED talk explains some of music's emotional power: Conductor Benjamin Zander and Chopin.
Modern classical music lost much of its audience when academics and critics began praising atonal and serial compositions. While some critics still belittle attractive melodies, toward the end of the century many composers were returning to them. Others, who'd never left, began to be recorded more often.
Because concert goers still haven't recovered from hearing modern music only Schoenberg or Boulez could understand, orchestras continue to shun new music. That's unfortunate. Many contemporary works could please even the most conservative audience—if given the chance. Sample these composers if you doubt it:
The exciting Gustavo Dudamel, now conductor of the LA Philharmonic, has been featured in these 60 Minutes segments: "Musical Mission" and "El Sistema." He is a product of Venezuela's El Sistema program. Information about its implementation in the United States is available here El Sistema USA.