In September, violinist Philippe Quint conducted an experiment. He took a microphone out on the streets of New York City and asked about 30 random young people what they thought about classical music.
The results were rather sobering.
His first question was, simply, "What music do you listen to?"
"Out of approximately 30 people interviewed, not one person mentioned classical music as their choice," Quint said. Some of the answers included: hip-hop, rock, house music, dubstep, rap, alternative, R and B, jazz fusion, electronic music, pop, metal, trap music, Bollywood music....
When asked if they were familiar with classical music, many were not familiar with it at all, and some had never heard of the names Beethoven, Mozart or Bach.
"In our generation people don't really listen to (classical music) because I don't know where they would go to hear it," one young woman said. "If somebody gave me a ticket to a classical music concert I'd definitely go, but it's not something I'd think to buy for myself."
Another mentioned that "You turn on the radio, and that's not what's going to come on, you have to really search for the station that is playing it."
The upshot? We have a long way to go, to promote classical music.
"Even though we have folks who are tireless supporters for arts and education, I feel that many, many more must join forces to prevent complete extinction of classical music," Quint said. "Chances are that the kids of those kids I interviewed won't even know that classical music ever existed. That IS scary."
Here is Quint's video, "Violinist interviews New Yorkers about Classical Music":
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