Today's music business

December 3, 2005 at 09:00 PM · I was saddened yet again today, when I heard one of the most amazing musical talents perform. I was saddened because this musician hasn't "made it big" on level that kissin or vengerov have, but I don't even have to think twice about how much better he is than them

Is this what the music business has come to? Will a great interpreter not make it if he or she isn't marketable? This musician has won all the big competitions very nice...there is just no reason that he shouldnt be teaching at Juilliard and soloing with berlin and cleveland and the such. This is what he deserves and I am saddened...I really don't get it.

Replies (100)

December 3, 2005 at 10:19 PM · I'd really like to know more about the star maker machinery. I bet it's very simple and interesting. I also think it's interesting how a person's name plays such a large role. You'd never have heard of Jascha Heifetz if his name had been Joe Smith. Or if Fritz Kreisler had been Frank Kirshner. On the other hand, in business it's helpful if names evoke a different kind of image, less exotic, more down to earth. Lots of CEOs have names like Tom Brown and John Smith.

December 3, 2005 at 10:24 PM · Maybe that has something to do with it but Isaac Stern or Sarah Chang aren't particularly exciting names.

December 3, 2005 at 10:28 PM · Ever hear of Ann-Sophie Jones? I rest my case :)

December 3, 2005 at 10:21 PM · The star making machine can only thrive so long as it continues to assist in sales - which it does.

If musicians embrace the Internet as a way to distribute their recordings rather than indenturing themselves to the music 'industry' and it's marketing and PR machines, then it would be possible that we could see the demise of the recording industry as we have known it within the next decade or so.

People would be less likely to make a purchasing decision based on cover art or media hype if they knew they could sample a wide variety of offerings without ever leaving their home, find music they like, and then pay a reasonable price for the product knowing that the artist will receive the lion's share of the money rather than some cokehead record exec who can't figure out if he should spend this week's millions on a 7th mansion or two more ferrari's.

December 3, 2005 at 11:07 PM · I'd rather hear great player X in a home cassette recording practicing scales than playing the Nth Tchaikovsky concerto on an SACD with the Berlin Philharmonic. I really would. Which says two things - it isn't necessarily expensive, and I'm not much of a good consumer :)

December 3, 2005 at 11:47 PM · Maybe this person prefers not to record??? If there is some unfortunate misunderstanding please have him or his agent send resume to Keep in mind record companies can not be everywhere to hear everyone.

December 3, 2005 at 11:50 PM · Hi D Kurganov,

Just out of curiosity, who is this artist you are referring to?

December 4, 2005 at 02:06 AM · I agree with Eric.

I think the future in marketing will be downloading all music. With that in mind, the name and ones appearance unfortunately plays a big part of marketability.

I think I know who Dan is talking about, and I have a feeling it is Ilya Kaler, whose playing is simply stellar. It is true that he deserves a really big career. But todays trends favor younger "stellar players". And this is also a cycle.

In the begining of the 20th century (& up to the middle of 20th cen.), it was the glory days of prodogies: Heifetz, Menuhin, Ricci, Joseph Hassid & M.Rabin.

After Rabin, the market changed and the audience watched the maturing prodogies/artists grow. Up through to the 70's, managements did not feel that selling prodigies was beneficial and viable. Then the trend changed in the USA with Midori and Sarah Chang as well as Vengerov and Repin. Now we are living in the prodigy age yet again.

So unless the artist has a gimmick, like Gidon Kremer does, of introducing new music etc. it is a hard sell for managements to market a mature musician simply on the merit of their ability as a performer and interpreter. But if that artists makes some good friends with the right Maestros, all can change. I have seen that happen.

The other issue is, that you would be surprised how many fantastic players did not have big solo careers, and then you wonder why?

Other names that come to my mind is Aaron Rosand, David Nadien, Yuval Yaron, Phillip Hirshorn, Miron Polyakin, Boris Goldshtein (who was hailed by Heifetz as the greatest Soviet Violinist at the time when David Oistrakh was coming of age).

December 4, 2005 at 03:44 AM · i feel like you cant get anywhere unless you sell yourself desperatly...its rediculous. I don't think music should be a profession. Business should be a profession because it implies certain politics. That is essentially what business is. Music is not this. Music is art. What is a professional? What is an amateur? A professonal makes a living off of what he/she amateur loves what he/she does. I will always be an amateur i guess.

December 4, 2005 at 04:05 AM · There are countless violinists who never get the fame they deserve, and obviously it's marketability.

There is no solution, and the internet won't work yet because the individual just doesn't have the resources to market. People still read music magazines and the like... record companies have the power and money to market you.

December 4, 2005 at 04:37 AM · There is another element at play here and it is that we are competing for an audience that is also attracted by popular trends:

for example Hip Hop is still a major player for us to compete with and we are not exactly winning the battles. The symphony orchestras are seeing less attendance accross the country even the big five are complaining.

We in Seattle are doing better than others in that respect and it is all due to our marketing department.

I can tell you that many of us are doing creative things: recording Film Music and Video Games. That does hold a future for attracting a new younger audience. We (in Seattle) have recorded tons of great music composed by the best young composers for Video Games.

In my quartet we are premiering works with Jazz heavyweights and the result is very interesting and the audiences are growing for that.

At the turn of the Century (19th-20th cen.), our counterparts did not have to compete with TV, Radio let alone recordings. People got their entertainment from live performances. But since then the world and the music landscape has changed dramatically.

We have to look to new ways of revitalizing the Classical Music scene and bringing in a new crowd (a younger and hipper crowd).

Music is one thing, business aspect of it is entirely another. To have a great performance memorable, you need an audience. To win your audience, you need a way to bring them in and spend their $$ to see what is so special about this or that concert.

I do want to encourage you (rather than not).

So for now, you devote yourself to being the best you can be, and then you learn the ropes of business as you get older. :)

December 4, 2005 at 06:29 AM · thats good advice from a good bow dealer :)

December 4, 2005 at 07:36 AM · I have to say that I consider myself fortunate to have had friends who exposed me to other types of music. (Often thought on this board and by many people in the classical world to be lesser art forms).

I love rock, I play the guitar, and now I'm getting into hip hop. I realize that not everything is Beethoven, but that doesn't mean that whatever does not reach his level is without merit. Most classical musicians do themselves a massive disservice by discrediting everything else. When it comes time to crossover, they can't do it because they are hopelessly too classicized... for example, most violinists just can't "think" in a blues/rock mindset. They don't know how to purposely mess something up to make it sound cool.

Personally I look forward to trying new things, while still holding onto the truly great work that we have the priviledge of performing.

December 4, 2005 at 08:42 AM · It's got to be even worse in country and pop. The stars make a zillion dollars on tv, with those freekin high tech arena sets with flashing lights, dancing girls, smoke bombs, classical musicians hired to saw out chords in the background, and are idols of the general public instead of just other musicians, and I repeat, make a zillion dollars, while people who are just as good or better are stuck picking cotton.

December 4, 2005 at 11:18 AM · we have veered off to a completely new topic gentlemen. It is in fact those who do NOT try new things these days, who become the most successful:) Sadly...

Back to the original topic, there are plenty of factors that come into play: nerves, personal quirks, outside pressure, upbringing, dislike of travel, dislike of solitude. If even one of this factors is strongly present, the artist will simply not make it big, be it another Kremer or Oistrakh. And do not forget about the "first-tier saturation" as I like to refer to it - there is no deficit of space on the second tier, but 1st is all booked op, and there are only so many stars that can be marketed. That is true in hip-hop, that is even very true in pop where the stakes are considerably higher...

But we shouldn't be saddened by these facts - after all to be a star one needs to have certain recklessness, and is faced with the need of pleasing as many people as possible, which inevitably leads to "rounding off the angles" (as they say in Russian) and compromising your art to an extent... Besides, like Kremer said, we should have other goals beyond becoming rich and famous:) And like some of you rightfully mentioned, in today's world, you can get access to almost any artist that plays concerts or has records available. Those records don't have to be distributed by Columbia anymore, and the concerts don't have to be in Carnegie Hall (in fact the best concerts I heard in NY were in Alice Tully:) Plus Isaac Stern isn't around any longer:)


December 4, 2005 at 02:07 PM · Hi,

Ilya, thank you!!!! That was a great post! And it is nice to read the perspective of someone at the top of the game like you.


December 4, 2005 at 06:17 PM · BTW Dan,

Don't under-estimate the art of "wearing many other hats".

Many good things have been said already, and I will add just a bit more:

As an artist, we have to look to creating as well as re-creating the old. In the past centuries, performers were often composers.

Today, if you are not a composer, you must look to composers to write good music for you. If you are the one premiering the work, that gets you noticed. Most of the great artists of the past made their mark this way.

Oistrakh was very smart in this respect, he was connected to all the right composers and was first to premiere many works. Unlike Boris Goldshtein, who did not really care for much of new music of his day.

Heifetz premiered tons of new music which was written for him.

Performer/Composers were always looking for that new voice. Debussy, Ravel, Schoenberg, Mahler, going back to Mozart's day as well.

It was politics then as it is now. Mozart was not good in politics since he was very much his own man, but in the days of Kings and Queens, his livelihood depended on it. No wonder Mozart ended up in a sad state, having never been the court composer like Salieri (and buried in a paupers grave with no money), unlike Mendelssohn who was a very wealthy man being celebrated by everyone.

So unfortunately we in the classical music business also compete not only with other styles of music, but also we are competing against things like NBA, NFL, Pro Golf, NASCAR, Wimbeldon etc. We are competing for an audience, that unfortunately is dwindling in our industry.

Jazz players are complaining of the same problems.

In retrospect, we must do whatever it takes to bring in a new audience, and make sure they have good reasons for coming back for more concerts.

Perhaps playing a duet concert with EMINEM or "50cents"??:)

December 4, 2005 at 06:20 PM · Ilya said it best...the thread should be closed out with that.

December 4, 2005 at 07:10 PM · Ilya, what was the series of events that led to your making records for DG and so on? Why you and not someone you consider to be an equal player?

Also, regarding the characteristics you listed, are you saying that someone will "make it" in proportion to the degree those are present, or are you saying that those characteristics are just a prerequisite? Did Isaac Stern make a lot of decisions? If so, where did that power come from? Who was afraid of him or wanted to please him?

December 4, 2005 at 07:06 PM · Jim, allow me to ignore your first question:) As to the second, those are pre-requisites. I meant to say that if one of them is missing it ain't happening.


Don't be so nervous - there really is no competition between NBA and classical music:) and the concert with Eminem will IMHO not make things better - it will only mis-represent what you do. Plus Eminem would never even consider it - I hope you understand:) He has bigger fish to fry...I noticed that whenever I am in America, people complain, moan, and groan about what you call "dwindling audiences". I don't think the problem is pop industry or any "new competition" as you refer to it. In the United States of America there is only one problem: the President of the United States of America. The thing is basically this: classical music is not an American thing originally. Never been. It was imposed on the country, as it were, brought in by hired Europeans in the second half of the 19th century. It's a foreign body. To make it popular (furthermore, to make it profitable for people who promote it) takes time and money. And by money I don't mean random donations by various money-laundering individuals/corporations that need an extra tax privilege - I mean a consistent development program guessed it, the government. Good examples of that are: Spain, Finland, Venezuela. Examples of the opposite are: USA, Italy, most other countries:) Classical music is vulnerable - it's like a child who needs care, regular doses of milk. One extra article in the budget - problem solved. And you don't need to sell out then either:)

Sorry for not being able to shut my mouth lately - I am on vacation:)


December 4, 2005 at 07:54 PM · Ilya, the first question is the one with the interesting answers. But everyone avoids answering it:)

December 4, 2005 at 08:14 PM · Ilya,

BTW, concert with EMINEM was just a joke :)

I think this is not the place to argue politics, nevertheless dwindling audiences is not an American dilemma. I hear the same thing from my friends in France, England, Germany, Ukraine and Russia.

Being terrific is not the only prerequisite that will bring an audience and get you a recording contract with DG. Knowing and studying with someone famous has helped many.........

It is true that in the USA we depend on private sponsorship as opposed to our European counterparts. But then again, European orchestras have their own problems, and they are the ones complaining that they are underpaid unlike the American orchestras. So go figure which one to listen to. I am speaking from my experience as a chamber musician and a symphony musician.

You are speaking as a soloist who has embarked on a career not so long ago.

I am sure if you consider your mentor Itzhak Perlman and his buddy, Pinky Z., the biggest names in the business, they will also confirm what I had said: classical music is suffering from dwindling audiences. And we must do more to attract the younger generation.

It is the younger generation that is very much distracted by other idioms such as what I stated earlier.

So only in 5-10 years time, can we talk about what has worked for you to stay on top.

Let's wait until the novelty wears off.

And I do wish you all the best!!

That is what all great soloists have to go through. And if you stay on top for 10 years, the next 20-30 is just as demanding.

To market classical music it is not the Presidents job, but we in the industry constantly have to remind the politicians that classical music as well as art is of paramount importance for society as well as education.

Look at the accomplishments of BONO, how he has been able to capture the imagination of politicians (being inclusive of Democrats, Republicans etc.)in order to help in his cause for Africa.

That is a strategy worth looking into.

December 4, 2005 at 08:37 PM · Gena,

Just read again what I wrote:) As many times as you see fit:) Did I say that being terrific is the only pre-requisite? Did I say that "dwindling audiences" were just an American dilemma? Did I say that European Orchestras have no problems?

The fact is - and I hope you will not argue with this - that with all the problems European classical music organisations are having, the "audience problem" is barely on the top of the list. London has 5 world-class orchestras and the concerts are always sold-out (FYI NEw York City has one). Germany has more Opera companies than USA, and they don't have to do Pops Concerts to stay alive.

I will not comment on your remarks regarding IP - I am still hoping you will conjure up enough patience to read through my first post in this thread, before replying...;) And by the way, we are on a different subject completely - hasn't anyone noticed?


December 4, 2005 at 08:37 PM · And Gena,

I am afraid you are all over the place regarding BONO. Make up your mind - what do you want? - to help classical music or to help Africa?:)


December 4, 2005 at 09:31 PM · I agree with Ilya yet again, my friend Joseph Gold plays concerts of rare rep all over Europe to sold out venues. As well Ingolf Turban plays rare music all the time sold out crowds. Being a performer/recording artist is what you make of it. I work with artists all the time that simply prefer not to record, not because they are not top-notch performers, they just don't like the stress involved in recording, take after take, photo shoots, etc.

(If it is Kaler we're talking about)

If Kaler wanted to be a huge recording artist, he could be...I hear that he really enjoys teaching! Also I hear he is quite good at teaching! Why not leave it alone?

December 4, 2005 at 10:35 PM · Sadly, a large part of it is making friends in the business...the more friends, the more clout someone has. Dorothy DeLay could pick up the phone and get any one of her students a gig...there have been some other extraordinary competition laureates who, through attitude, substance abuse, or various other situations shoot themselves in the foot.

December 5, 2005 at 01:40 AM · Ilya,

I have read your points and some of them are valid points.

You missed my point though, dude.....

When I stated: "Look at the accomplishments of BONO, how he has been able to capture the imagination of politicians (being inclusive of Democrats, Republicans etc.)in order to help in his cause for Africa.

That is a strategy worth looking into"

Key phrase here is :

"strategy worth looking into" as well as:

"BONO, how he has been able to capture the imagination of politicians (being inclusive of Democrats, Republicans etc.)in order to help w/ X Y & Z."

It has to do with how he was able to achieve his goals working with politicians, raising awareness and being inclusive with all politicians. One has to learn how the game is played on the political level if your goal is to help with classical music and try to initiate political support and actually do something. This is what Isaac Stern understood early on, and as a result was able to contribute a great deal to Classical Music.

And as far as european orchestras are concerned, yes there are alot of orchestras in England, but perhaps you are not aware that they are still playing concerts on a per service basis without medical etc. Does that sound like a great gig?

This is why my friend Clive Greensmith who was principal cello in Royal Phil. split, and is now the cellist of the Tokyo String Quartet.

Many great English players leave their country for that reason.

December 5, 2005 at 02:07 AM · Gennady,

Perhaps you are not aware, that UK has free-for-all basic health insurance? :)

I have read your points, but it seems that our talking past each other is becoming a pattern:)



December 5, 2005 at 02:21 AM · and per service gig is fine by you?

as opposed to the contracted players with benefits etc.?

I really think you would benefit from chatting about this issue with IP as well as Pinky Z.

You are making political statements of the kind that don't hold water...accusing the current President what not. The problem has been there for the last 30 years in America. It is nothing new. Just try to read my previous posts and understand what I am saying.

Have you any idea of how things used to be for Soviet musicians: Soloists as well as Symphony Players?

December 5, 2005 at 02:31 AM · jonathan,

it is true, and i realize it. He could have had whatever he wanted, but he wouldn't be himself anymore. I can say he is the most modest and ego-less person I have ever met...let alone the most a modest violinist. What isn't fair is that he would have to break this code of modesty and integrity to get to that status of "big shot" recording industry. However, he has had a solo schedule just as busy as Vengerov, won bigger competitions than anyone, recorded the most technical to the most lyrical music, got instruments on loan...etcetc. Is this not enough to become a household get that supreme recognition? I guess if he tried for that big shot status, music would cease to play a wouldn't even be about music anymore. That's what bothers me. With someone like that, EVERYTHING has come from his playing and his personality...its a completely pure situation. Anything else and it would not be music, but politics and the such.

It makes me think that this is the most reward one can achieve from society without breaking their principals. Not to say his position is bad...he loves exactly where he is...

Gena made a good point with premiering new works and things like that...didn't think of that.

Just thinking outloud, I guess.


December 5, 2005 at 04:50 AM · Thanks Dan.


BTW Ilyusha,

My friend Hobart Earle, the Music Director of Odessa Philharmonic (Ukraine), says the same thing is true in Ukraine: dwindling audiences etc. And their problem is quite different from ours. Why.......because people can barely have enough money for food and rent let alone have some left over to spend on concerts.

In fact many Russian orchestras (their managements), come to the USA to fundraise.

So I am not so sure a State run orchestra is the answer.

Just look at state run Metro system in Paris, France....those guys are always on strike.

Privatization is good for competition and has always benefited organizations of all kinds everywhere.


Anyway I would like to avoid talking passed each other, and make you realize that being that you are in the position of making changes and infusing new blood into classical music, consider what I have said.

Making reduntant political statements is not conducive and will not get you invited for a Command Performance at the White House.

Instead, if you arm yourself with knowledge of how to play the system, the way Isaac Stern did for example(on a political level and be INCLUSIVE), perhaps in a few years time you could do more than be a stellar player, you could do for Classical music what BONO has done for Africa. :)

December 5, 2005 at 04:39 AM · Dan,

Is Kaler still teaching at IU?

December 5, 2005 at 04:45 AM · I think it is DePaul School of Music.

December 5, 2005 at 06:43 AM · Yes, he teaches at DePaul. I study there with his wife and him

December 5, 2005 at 06:49 AM · D - since you know him, how does he feel about it? Is he that concerned about it, or are you just concerned? And out of curiosity how is he as a teacher?

December 5, 2005 at 08:06 AM · I'd love to study with Kaler. What a giant talent he is.

December 5, 2005 at 11:01 AM · Gennady,

I was talking about civilized countries:) I am sure there is a problem of dwindling audiences in Malawi as well - would you like perhaps to discuss it?

Per service gig is not OK - and that is a problem too. What I meant to say, is that in UK being "without medical" is not that much of an issue. Again, we are talking past each other. But I am getting used to it. However, I am not giving up hope, so I will say again: yes, I hold the President (not just the current one by the way) SOLELY responsible for most of classical music problems IN AMERICA (Gennady, that means only in America as opposed in the rest of the CIVILIZED world). All right, did I leave anything out?:)


December 5, 2005 at 11:07 AM · OH, and Gena,

Being on perpetual strike is a peculiar French trait - when was last time you saw a Swedish orchestra striking? Danish? Spanish? Austrian?

December 5, 2005 at 01:41 PM · Ilya, I think it's horrible that because you are a popular classical music recording artist that you're having all of these frustrations directed at you!

Everyone please realize that there are many performers and labels out there. Address your concerns and your comments to the appropriate sources!

December 5, 2005 at 01:18 PM · Hi,

Gennady, as an outside observer who lived for many years in the U.S. and no longer does, I have to agree with Ilya on this. Plus, to be honest, I think that support for the Arts has dwindled considerably as a result of the current President of the U.S., even more so than with other Presidents.

I think that there are similar issues and vastly different issues in different places. Orchestras in Europe have issues, different than those in the U.S., but nonetheless it is still not comparable. The support of government is important. I look at Canada for example. Our current government just doubled the funding for the Canada Arts Council, which in a couple of years will be at around 350 million, a considerable sum for a country small as ours. And, projects undertaken by individuals have created things with large audiences, so I think that problems are occuring on a different scale. The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival is just one good example. Or, the renewed success both financial and audience-wise and education-wise of the National Arts Center since Zukerman has been there and under his many many initiatives.

For me, the point that I notice more and more is that things stem from the top down. Just like a lousy adminstrator at the head of an institution can create flawed values and malaise, so it is in a country as well.


December 5, 2005 at 05:33 PM · Christian,

With all due respect, I know about the Canadian orchestras..... and it is the very reason why so many good players flock to the states. We have several players from Canada, who say they left because their orchestra was on the vurge of bankrupcy and their pay in general in Canada is half of what it is in the USA.

The problem in the Arts is nothing new. It has been a developing problem since 1970's when Music and the Arts was being sized down (in funding and education) to the point of where it was completely phased out (in some places).

It has been changing on and off depending on who is at Board of Education, Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts etc.

As far as getting help from the Endowment for the Arts, unfortunately when "artists" promote art that has urine on canvas and or fecal matter,it undermines the credibility of all artists/musicians (etc.) to get political support from the top.

Art should mean more than that. The many debates that were heated debates over some of the art which received endowment, were at the top of the list of why the government wanted to cut some of the funding.

Ilya....again, it is not the job of the American President to promote classical music. Is it his job to promote Golf or NBA or NASCAR for that matter? I don't think so. are still missing my point.

The fight for audiences is a must for classical music everywhere. Without marketing startegies, we are out of a job and that includes you Ilya. How many times do you think you can play the same old repertoire for the next 20 years without loosing your audiences.

As a solo artist, one must constantly seek out a new voice to attract your audience. Nes Pas?

That is why good new music is imperative.

So while we are talking passed each other, we seem to disagree on the issue of dwindling audiences and the need for good new music.

I say potato....You say pottaatto....I say tomato....You say tommaatto....let's call the whole thing off! :)


December 5, 2005 at 05:06 PM · Well, the prez has no constitutional authority to fund the arts. Gennady is correct about the public sentiment for funding the arts in general. A few years ago certain things made headlines and formed a rallying point for screaming voices decrying funding of the arts in general. Machiavellian hypotheses aside, I blame a lot of it, along with a lot of the other new polarization you see, on people like Hush Bimbo and his legion of imitators.

December 5, 2005 at 05:11 PM · One summer when I was painting houses, we used to start the day listening to How Weird Stern, immediately followed by Hush Bimbo. It was a great time! The catcalls to the radio from tops of ladders made us seem, to the surrounding residents, to be crazy painters.

December 5, 2005 at 05:14 PM · Artie Lange is almost my hero really.

December 5, 2005 at 05:27 PM ·

December 5, 2005 at 06:10 PM · Gennady

I don't think anyone would disagree that there is more money available for classical musicians in the US. It is the wealtiest country in the world. There is more money to go around from private donations and advertising revenues. This is a peculiarity exclusive to the US because of the size and nature of the country. No wonder many muscians prefer to work there. That goes without saying. I think Ilya was primarily refering to the audience problem. Enthusiam and interest for classical music.

I happen to believe that governments ought, to some degree, to be responsible for more than just our basic amenities. Education, is one of these area. I think that classical music does provide a valuable education to many of us. In London, most of the museums, art galleries and exhibitions are free, because they are subsidised by the government. The flagship orchestra here is the LSO and the seats at its residency are subsidised by the government to enable people with more modest incomes to enjoy classical music as well. The same is true of the Royal Opera House, and probably elsewhere. The LSO also has free programs available for children, to educate and promote music, again with government assistance. From an educational point of view, I see differences between the NBA and classical music on all kinds of levels.

Governments in western democracies typically accept that their responsibilities go beyond the 'negative freedoms'. Laissez-faire politics is so 80s. Good government should to the best of its ability endeavour to represent us, protect us and enrich the enviroment in which we live. Government of the people, for the people, by the people. That ought to be the goal. After all, most governments function on revenue from our labour. There is a responsibility to use it in our best interests.

December 5, 2005 at 07:24 PM · Good government should provide basic services and stay out of everything else, including legislating artistic tastes and collecting tax money from the many to fund the musical interests of the ever-waning few. Obviously a lot of people are on both sides of the fence on this matter.

America, in all aspects, is a market driven society. Classical music doesn't do well in the 'music' market because it doesn't connect with many average people any more. How this can be suprising considering the style has maintained some level of public acceptance for centuries I don't know. Do you believe things last forever or that tastes don't change over time? Nontheless, government funding is not going to solve this basic problem, though it might make a career as a performer more comfortable.

Innovate or die is the rule here. Classical music has largely staganted for quite some time. The pieces commonly performed to audiences are centuries old. Where is the innovation? Why are modern musicians more likely to pursue a career soloing the works of long dead composers rather than extending the life of the art through their own new compositions? From a non-performer point of view, it seems from here that the only new work being put out in this genre comes in the form of movie soundtracks. If such new material is being produced, it is hidden. See earlier post about the net as means of free distribution.

Composition should be given as much weight as performance in the life of a classical musician, if that musician expects to see classical music reach a bigger audience. You don't sell newspapers by putting out last year's news. If music is an expression of our lives, it should be relevant to and affected by the times we live in. One reason Britney Spears sells records is the machine, the other reason is her bubble-gum pop lyrics can be related to by millions of teens. To those kids, Britney is (or was) relevant to their lives.

No doubt there are exceptions to every point I've made. Feel free not to list them, I'm making a general argument.

Just thought I'd contribute to the hijacking.

December 5, 2005 at 07:19 PM · Hi,

Gennady, point well taken. In that case, if you think that it is not the government's job among others, than whose is it?


December 5, 2005 at 07:53 PM · I don't agree with taxing more to provide arts. It is not something the President should be blamed for (why classical music is not more popular in this country). Throwing money around is not going to do anything. It all comes down to the educational system in this country. The Department of Education is not getting it done in this country plain and simple. Education in many public schools in this country is garbage. For instance in Oakland, CA the local Board of Ed.'s decision to recognize ebonics as a "second language" ( and sought out state and federal funds for bilingual education. If that is not an example of how money is not necessarily going to do anything I don't know what is. Except for affluent areas in the US, public education is pretty much a disaster. Another issue why classical music is kind of on the back burner in this country is because of this MTV Eminem pollution that is on the tube and airwaves. Aside from the occasional broadcast of a Live From Lincoln Center on PBS, there is really no classical music on even public broadcasting, the closest thing is Andre Rieu. I'm afraid people who don't know any better will start to think he's a classical musician which is why without two main factors education and broader media exposure, classical music will not become more widely spread throughout our culture.

December 5, 2005 at 08:14 PM · Un-hijack this. Maybe Shlomo Mintz's manager from the other thread will say something.

December 6, 2005 at 02:51 AM · IMAGINE:

here is a perfect example where all have strong opinions and still we disagree on some major issues.......and the funny thing is that many of us are talking past each other. There are some who agree with each other and there are some who take the opposing side.

If we could all agree on what classical music means to us, and why everyone in the world should care about it......would that help?

Now with that said,...........Being inclusive and being able to pass legislation takes a monumental effort by a single unified voice.

BTW Christian, I think you have misunderstood my posts and perhaps so did Ilya.

Endowment For The Arts: absolutely Yes.

Education For The Arts: absolutely Yes

Promoting it is a whole different issue altogether. And arguing (being from different countries etc.), is pointless because systems are quite different.

But there are similar problems across the globe.

The arts covers a big territory, and classical music is not always in line with the needs of avant-garde artists.

How do you please everyone at the same time (from the political point of view?)

Having grown up in Soviet Union, I can tell you that many things were excellent in terms of free education and special schools for gifted children etc. But since I came to the US, I learned a great deal more about the horrors of what the Soviet Regime, especially during the Stalin Era, has done to music and many other disciplines. A great many brilliant people, who spoke out, were sent to Siberia because they were labeled subversives. That was a result of State sponsored control over the arts and education.

Cultural Revolution paved the way to similar horrors with their artists, composers, musicians. Many were executed, many more were sent to labor camps etc.

In Nazi Germany, avant-garde artists, musicians, composers, were labeled degenerates, they also suffered a similar fate. That is the danger of (complete) State Control of Art & Music.

If we could all "partake" on a mission, to raise awareness in Arts & Music especially classical music, then we will have achieved something.

That requires marketing, and having spokes-people of the stature of Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman and future stars.

Let's IMAGINE..............and try to see the big picture. Having a unified voice, being inclusive, gets things done faster and better.

December 5, 2005 at 09:43 PM · Why do you care wether or not everyone in the world enjoys classical music? Job security? Some idea that listening to one pattern of sound waves versus another pattern of sound waves in some way betters humanity as a whole? You should not expect anyone to share your passions, they are yours and a reflection of who you are and how you grew up. Perhaps you feel that classical music is in some way validated if more and more people listen to it regularly? It seems like much energy directed at a problem that doesn't exist.

December 5, 2005 at 11:15 PM · Greetings,

>Why do you care wether or not everyone in the world enjoys classical music?

Personally I think what we/I am doing is worthwhile and therefore I want to share it and my pleasure in it with others. In this, I can`t see that I am any different from someone with an interest in cactus growing or coackroach breeding that wishes to share their passion and interest with others. Take away this human drive/need and none of us would have any point of contact or communication. What a dreary world that would be.

>Job security?

I think that often comes rather lower down the list. A lot of people go into the music business knowingg full well they will never have the same income as an accountant or prune salesman.

>Some idea that listening to one pattern of sound waves versus another pattern of sound waves in some way betters humanity as a whole?

The assumption that my sound waves are better than your sound waves is violent and dangerous. But, yes I think it does better humanity. What is it that human can do that other species can`t ? We create. We can choose to create plagues, bombs and instrument of violence or we can add joy and interest to our lives with the effort and energy we possess invested in art for others and ouselves. Is it better for a kid to get involved in something constructive or sit in front of the TV absorbing messages of violence and consumption while consuming junk food that itself is integral to the cycle of violence the human race is locked into? reducing the debate to an issue of listening to sound waves is so reductionist it is, I respectfully suggest, virtually meaningless.

>You should not expect anyone to share your passions,

True. but that does not mean one stops sharing with people. or trying to share theirs. the danger is in the word `expect` which is often synonymous with `demand.`



December 5, 2005 at 10:18 PM · Clearly there are no rights or wrongs on this topic in any absolute sense. Most people are probably just expressing preferences and the best way forward for the promotion of western classical music. Ok, why single out classical music over other expressions of art and entertainment? I think it probably makes less sense in a country which has no history of it. Take India. It would be unusual if the govt went out of it's way to promote western classical music there, because it has no historical significance for that country. Indian classical music, on the other hand, is different matter. Some countries may have little interest in preserving any of their heritage. That's fine too, if that's what they want. But western classical music, in many western countries, has educational, historical and cultural significance.

My point about state involvement was precisely along the lines of endowment for the arts not control. Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany are perversions of state involvement and its abuse of power. I don't believe when most people talk about some state involvment they are using these examples as templates. Also, no one said that sole responsibility for the arts should come from the govt, or that it should legislate for the arts. The LSO is free to manage itself and raise funds from whom it chooses. If it wants to pursue an avant garde project, it is free to do so. It just has some money provided by the government, earmarked for specific things. State invovlement in and of itself is not an inherent evil.

My point is really one of balance. It is not always wise to leave things entirely to market forces either, because sometimes more noble goals can get lost in the pursuit of profit. Nor do I subscribe to the view that things which do not create massive profit are not worth keeping. I propose a compromise in the combination of the two. Private enterprise often is better at promoting itself, and it has a lot to lose if its promotion is not effective, so maybe it is wise if it assumes the responsibilty for this. But govts can also play their role i.e. funding music education in schools etc. This battle can be fought on many fronts, it does not have to be an either or situation.

Ok back to the original post. I would agree with whoever said that it is not really about the the celebrity and the fame. If we are talking about Ilya Kaler, he is fine. He records extensively thanks to Naxos and we are able to enjoy his excellent work. But on the more general point of surface taking precedence over substance. As sad as it is, there is little the average person can do about it other than speak with their dollars and be wary marketing manipulation.


December 5, 2005 at 11:38 PM · Yes there is a line between sharing interests and demanding everyone share YOUR interests - a line presumably pole vaulted over when trying to get other people to listen to your preferred music via political lobbying and subsequent taxation as was being suggested. There are outlets for classical music today, there are artists who still pursue the craft, there are people still willing to pay for the chance to hear it. Nothing more needs to be done. Mother/Father/Uncle State does not need to empower some elitist notion that classical music is better for people than other types of music and should therefore be funded by every citizen. Let the people decide via the free markets. If they choose to buy Britney over Brahms it's their choice.

You call reductionist what I call objectivism. One of the many ways humans express their creativity is by attaching inflated degrees of importance and sanctity to things that they as individuals find compelling, moving, inspirational, etc. In no way are these notions anything more than personal opinions and it should not be assumed that because something works for you it will work for humanity at large.

I am still curious to hear why Gennady feels so driven about the matter.

December 5, 2005 at 11:41 PM · There's an interesting facet of the music business that was briefly touched upon in this thread....That is the idea of interpretation. I would like to hypothesize that a large reason for the downfall of large Classica music audiences is precisely because our field has lost its individuality. Rather than the performer playing the music, we are now listening to the performing serving the music.

My musical instincts and education say that we must play exactly what the composer intended but when I look back at the great violinists who defined their generations, they were not necessarily the purists. They had something that represented an entire civilization's way of viewing life all inside their music. Fritz Kreisler is a prime example. His sugary tone and saccharin playing definitely represent his time and location. Because of greedy record companies and conductors who insist more on accuracy than style we have lost this.

December 6, 2005 at 12:36 AM · Gennady - good point on state sponsorship and ideology. Regarding the reductionism, the ultimate value of one or the other is freedom of choice. Defend it all, or you deserve to be next.

December 6, 2005 at 12:55 AM · Bravo to Buri's post.

December 6, 2005 at 02:44 AM · Eric,

what brought on the debate, is actually how we got off the original subject.

In my original post, I stated that creating and re-creating music are both imperative for us (in the classical music genre). I also touched on the "dwindling audiences" and todays other distractions in society.

Now with that in mind, for all of us here writing and chatting: if it wasn't for your interest in classical music and violin...why would you be wasting your time discussing issues about violin and everything about it in music?

The reality is that since Isaac Stern's passing, no one has stepped up to the plate to be the new spokesman/or woman for Classical Music.

If we want to attract new audiences, we need fresh blood to do what he was doing.


and in regards to your previous post:

"Why do you care wether or not everyone in the world enjoys classical music?...........It seems like much energy directed at a problem that doesn't exist."

If people failed to care for classical music, Carnegie Hall would have ended up as Carnegie Mall!!!

December 6, 2005 at 04:58 AM · Jim-

I assume he's perfectly happy and has just about everything he wants in the music world. He solos, teaches, plays chamber music and does some orchestra stuff. He's got it all. He's the most amazing teacher I've ever studied with. Every problem I had was fixed with minutes I could count on my hands. It also helps because he can demonstrate anything he is always sounds like a perfectly spliced recording haha. It seems like he knows everything about everything. There is nothing he has to think about when teaching, it's as if he planned his whole lesson out and is reading off a paper with no sweat. Everything is very condenced and moves fast, because he knows exactly how to explain anything. In return you learn a lifetime in one lesson basically.

Gena and Ilya,

I can see why Ilya thinks its the president's job to support the arts, but I don't think it's that easy. Ultimatly, I would rather have him working on the security of our country and our wellbeing than on supporting the arts. This is his job afterall. Of course it would be nice if he helped out, but let's face is he has more "important things" to deal with. I think supporting the arts is in every individual, not just a leader. Everyone has their part...Patrons, audience members, organizations, etc.

December 6, 2005 at 05:08 AM · Daniel -

I agree that violinists these days have less individuality, however this hasn't really hindered anything. In fact, were so good at marketing people that big shots are bigger than ever. Look at lara st. john...she can't really play anything well, but if you put her naked on a CD cover...chaching.

This is exactly the problem. The artistical aspect doesnt even matter anymore. To us violists, yea things have been going down hill...Yesterdays heifetz is today's Lara St. John. Her and violinists like her will probably be more "successful" than heifetz, because in the business, art doenst matter. This proves that "success" is completely seperate from the musical, violinistic, and artistic aspects of an artist. It's all marketability, folks.

December 6, 2005 at 05:37 AM · I don't think it's marketability as much as it is marketing. In other words, what's made available. In the same way I'm bugged that since the beginning TV and movies were, for no particular reason, largely people shooting each other, one might be bugged by what artists are made available.

BUT...this discussion should have begun with a breakdown of current yearly sales by artist. I wouldn't be surprised if Perlman outsells everybody still, and what's "marketable" about him? It's marketing not marketability.

December 6, 2005 at 01:54 PM · I would like to add that a few days ago I attended a wonderful lecture/presentation by the C.E.O. of the Dallas Symphony orchestra. He certainly acknowleged that the audience numbers were in sharp decline. Nonetheless, he seemed quite optimistic and stated that since the markets have changed, orchestra boards have to change their tactics and serve the community through different kinds of programming. For instance, a community with a large Hispanic population might be interested in a "Hispanic night at the X Orchestra".

Sure, the critics would say that this isn't Classical music but even in Schumann's time, composers had to respond to the market. Might I add that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is up and coming as a result.

This should come as a wake up call to contemporary composers. We can no longer hide ourselves in a closet like Schoenburg and Webern. There is a two way interaction between artist and community - an ongoing dialogue that must be acknowledged. This doesn't mean we have to prostitute ourselves - just be cognizant of our audience.

December 6, 2005 at 11:13 PM · Dan K,

The new crop of stellar violinists will in time phase out the "rif raf".

I believe that today there are no shortages of stellar violinists that will carry on the tradition. The trend is lead by wonderful players like Vengerov, Repin, Hahn, Gringoltz, Ehnes, Nikolai Znaider, Stephan Jakiw and there are more.

I do hope Ilya G. will consider what I had said and maybe even act on it :)

December 7, 2005 at 05:21 PM · Gena/everyone,

sorry, I had to move to a bungalow with no Internet connection. I have only found one now but have very little time, as there is a line behind me:)

gena, I agree with you on repertoire. That is why I am playing 4 new concertos and 3 new recital programs this year. Just for your informtaion. But I appreciate your involvement anyway:)


Somehow I didnt get the impression of GW being overly busy in the last 5 years...Whenever something happened he was golfing:) But the lack of interest from the goovernment is (to me) devastating, and the industry feels it - like I said in one of my previous posts, classical music is not self-sufficient - it needs STEADY IV line. Otherwise...not that it dies - it will not die, because its a niche business, as it were, and those always have a faithful...but it can shrink dramatically, which is what is happening...

And Gena, your idea of classical music having to compete with NASCAr and the like is a bit like Jarmusch competing against Spielberg - Ne Pas?:)


December 7, 2005 at 05:29 PM · Ilyusha,

In your comment : "And Gena, your idea of classical music having to compete with NASCAr and the like is a bit like Jarmusch competing against Spielberg - Ne Pas?:) "

My point has been that the younger generation has a lot more distractions than in the begining of the 20th cent. let alone 17th-19th cen.

Kids today are easily distracted by video games, GANSTA "CRAP", etc. That is what we are in competition with. It is important to use strategy to appeal to and attract the younger audience.

That is what I have been saying.

Education also comes from parent involvement, community involvment, outreach programs etc.

And yes having a spokes/person for Classical Music helps immensely. :)

December 7, 2005 at 05:56 PM · I just read the first few posts on this thread, about the names of violinists, and I think that probably has something to do with whether or not they become really famous. Apparently, movie stars with boring names are told to take their middle name as a first name, and the street they grew up of as a last. So my movie star, or perhaps solo violinist name would be Veronica Shawnee!


December 7, 2005 at 07:04 PM · I think this thread is a pretty good example of why classical music is not commonly appreciated by 'average' people. It is presented as something too intelligent/refined/sophisticated for the junk-food eating, video game addicted masses who aren't intelligent enough to figure out what avenues of entertainment they should pursue.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions and passions, but if this thread gets any more snobbish it will start hiring servants. "Kids today" indeed.

December 7, 2005 at 07:43 PM · BTW Eric,

The subject you are referring to here is classical music and its survival today and in the future. Having a PC

(or passive for that matter) attitude about classical music is only going to bring it closer to extinction. If you want to discuss "GANSTA CRAP" or what not, feel free to chat on www.GANSTACRAP.ORG

Why do you bother to read and write on v.c?

If you really like classical music, and want to pursue it (maybe as a profession), then you should do what you can to make sure it will be around when you grow up! :)

cool website


and in case there is a brilliant genius waiting to bloom inside you, you also have to consider all the things that have been discussed here so far, that is if you want to share & market your talent. But if you are happy staying in the closet, that is your choice.

December 7, 2005 at 08:30 PM · Gennady, now you're missing the whole point. There is no eliteist classical music audience in the U.S. It's going to come down to symphonic welfare for you because you won't go out and get a job I'm afraid.

Alice - your family's first names balances out your last name ;)

December 7, 2005 at 07:33 PM · I thought this thread had died. So funny, this topic is jumping all over the place.

I don't know about the name thing. Look at William Primrose. Names rarely come more bland than that, but the quality of his playing demanded that he was recognized as one of the greatest virtuosos of all time. He was an excellent violinist as well. Could play all the caprices, on both instruments, according to Milstein.

I don't know about others, but it is not my intention to be snobbish. I don't believe that it ought to be obligatory that people listen to classical music. People are not flawed or inadequate because they do not enjoy classical music. Classical music by its very nature is not as accesible as pop/rap etc, for everyone, including me. That does not mean that popular music is rubbish or is only enjoyed by dumbos. I love rap, and rock and folk etc. Today, there is no way classical can compete with the more popular forms. So should we leave it to the market and let it die? I think there is an argument for preserving things that have historical/cultural value as well as entertain and educate, as the italians do with Paganini's violin, or the British do with Turner's paintings or the Greeks with their art and architecture.

I think classical music could definitely be packaged better and made less stuffy and formal. The irony of all this is that composers like Beethoven and Mozart, despised the patrons of their day, and would probably resent the people who are running classical music today and the way they are doing it. It's made to be far too exclusive. I'm all for a more populist approach to its marketing.


December 7, 2005 at 08:33 PM · I'm going to contact some historians and get a feel for its place through the ages. I should already know this, but I must have skipped that day.

December 7, 2005 at 09:01 PM · "If you want to discuss "GANSTA CRAP" or what not, feel free to chat on www.GANSTACRAP.ORG"

You are the one bringing it up, not me. Among other examples, you bring it up as a sub-standard form of music not worthy to grace your ears and not suitable for anyone to listen to who hopes to reach the lofty heights of intellect which you feel you have. It is one example of how you are an elitist.

"Why do you bother to read and write on v.c?"

To obtain advice from other players and, if lucky, from professionals. I don't use it to soapbox like you, though I do admit to lacking the strength of will to avoid posting contrary opinions to quasi-socialist, snobbish ideas such as your own. I am a weak man.

"If you really like classical music, and want to pursue it (maybe as a profession), then you should do what you can to make sure it will be around when you grow up! :)"

I purchase the works of numerous artists, hundreds of dollars worth every month, I attend concerts, I pay for lessons on an instrument used to make music of this type. Most importantly, I do so without insulting other people by making fun of the music THEY like to listen to or by drawing assanine, egotistical conclusions such as people who listen to one type of music are smarter than people who listen to other types of music.

"and in case there is a brilliant genius waiting to bloom inside you .... But if you are happy staying in the closet, that is your choice."

Sorry, you use such big words with so many syllables that my junk food, gansta crap, video game addicted mind can't keep up. I'll go back to drawing with my crayons and wetting myself.

December 7, 2005 at 09:29 PM · Geez, this thread is becoming out of control...I believe since we are all on, we are all on the same team. Let's all sit back and reflect, shall we?

December 7, 2005 at 09:52 PM · Yeah, let's all take a chill pill.


December 7, 2005 at 10:02 PM · there is nothing snobbish about us. We are THAT good:)

Gena, I meant that Spielberg needs to sell tickets - otherwise he is bankrupt. But Jarmusch doesnt - because, if he had to, he wouldnt be Jarmusch. You see my point - he needs STEADY feed to keep him going and do what he wants to do without outside pressure. Just to stay free and creative. If you want to sell, you gotta compromise. That is mainstream against elite. And no matter what some of you say, classical music IS elitist. And that is the beauty of it. And IF it is marketed (that is still an open question for me by the way), it should be marketed as elitist. But, really, how many Aston Martin commercials have you seen recently?


December 7, 2005 at 10:16 PM · Peace out Ilya ;-)

December 7, 2005 at 10:19 PM · Spielberg did a good job marketing dinosaurs

December 7, 2005 at 10:20 PM · and aliens:)

December 7, 2005 at 10:23 PM · sometimes they go hand in hand :)

December 7, 2005 at 10:25 PM · only on this thread man:)

December 7, 2005 at 10:30 PM · The melting pot is cooking dinosaur stew.

December 7, 2005 at 11:01 PM · In all honesty, I think it's safe to say that classical music IS more intellectual than rap. That doesn't mean that the normal people can't enjoy it (even though they don't) or that it's snobby, it just has much more structure, depth, substance, etc. and much more goes into its production (not that it can't be enjoyed simply). I personally think classical music is not just "beautiful" but also "cool" (am I alone?) but like others have said it has to do with marketing. Like luxury cars, it is marketed to stiff snobs most of the time and I think should loosen up. I think this should be done with taste though, as dressing up like a prostitute (not naming names) takes it too far. However, even if classical music were to loosen up and market to young people, it would have a hard time catching up to rap or rock. I was watching a little bit of the Billboard music awards last night and wanted to puke at the type of culture I was looking at and that everyone likes. Excuse me if I offend anyone who likes rap but all this bling bling and ridiculous clothes and hundreds of half naked women in a pool is just ridiculous. Anyway, I accomplished nothing by this post.

December 7, 2005 at 10:35 PM · Ok, there are limits beyond which marketing should not go in classical music. Re-arranging original music with dance beats is one of them, because then it ceases to be classical music and is an affront to the original work. New compositions that include dance beats, however, I have no problem with. Classical music does not have to be stuck in the past. Jazz has developed, blues has developed etc. In terms of composition, anything ought to be able to claim admission to a particular genre, provided it retains enough of the tradition it came from. The important thing is sincerity as opposed to gimmickry.

But I disagree with the idea that classical music is inherently elitist and should be marketed as such. Admittedly, the culture that surrounds it now, is very elitist, as is the case with Shakespeare's plays. But in Shakespeare's time, his plays were very popular with ordinary working people as were Mozart's operas. I'm not an elite, nor do I have an elitist mentality, but I love classical music. I think it comes down to exposure. If people are exposed to it enough, like with all great music, they will acquire a taste for it. But classical music is at a disadvantage because the appreciation of it has a long gestation period. It is not usually immediate. Most of the people here probably only came to like it because they were schooled in a classical instrument or exposed to it young, me included. It needs to lose it's stuffy image and be more inclusive, without compromising the integrity of the music. ok , I'm waffling. I'll stop.


December 7, 2005 at 11:17 PM · what Enosh said.

December 8, 2005 at 12:31 AM · to Eric:

You are so green that it is impossible to tell the difference between you and the grass.

There is a world of difference between high art and "CRAP". And you better learn the difference now or you are doomed.

You are reading a post from a professional who has worked with Rod Steward, Linda R., HEART, Dave Matthews Band, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Rickie Lee Jones, Doc Severenson, Ray Charles. I have also appeared in FILM and TV.

I also record tons of soundtracks as well as some of the Video Game music you probably play with like HALO, MATRIX and many more.

I am a member of Seattle Symphony and the 1st violinist of odeonquartet.

And sorry for bragging, but I have to make my point.

So show some respect.

I have made my comments regarding the business climate of classical music.

I love to listen to many other kinds of music including some rap which does not use FOUR letter words with a beat for expressive purposes.

That amigo, is far from creative music.

If you are studying to become a musician, you have to learn early on of what is acceptable and what is not. What is GOOD vs BAD. You cannot be PC about it in classical music.

Either you have a good bow arm or you don't. Either you have good intonation or not etc.

That is the starting point.

From that, you build on your knowledge of Music History, Ear Training, Theory etc. & LIFE in general. If you don't want to listen to good advice, stay in the closet and play with your video game while I'll be busy going to the Bank after having recorded what you are playing with.

And BTW, be careful who you tick off on this site because they may be the same people in your next audition or competition :)


oh and regarding "GANSTA CRAP".....ina few years, ya won't even rememba whatta whole ting wuz 'bout. FUGGETAABBOUTIT!

December 8, 2005 at 01:02 AM · Final line...very very true, it really is a small world. It's not the final line any more!

"be careful who you tick off on this site because they may be the same people in your next audition or competition "

December 8, 2005 at 01:40 AM · Your resume is irrelevant and any chance for respect long since gone when you [edit: since the search sucks and I can't find the post, I will leave it out].

I enjoy classical music and I'm happy to keep paying to hear it. I enjoy sharing it with friends, and think nothing less of the ones who prefer to listen to rap, or rock or country instead. I find this works well for all involved.

Good luck with the condescending attitude approach. I'm sure it will win over many new fans.

December 8, 2005 at 02:39 AM · I suggest you change your drug of choice before posting rubbish. No idea what your on.

If you had read carefully, perhaps you would have understood the previous posts.

[by now you will have read my post where I said "Let's agree to disagree". It is a phrase worth remembering!]

If you seek advice from pro's in the field, why be argumentative about something that even solosists like Ilya feel strongly about. (Watch, listen & learn :)

But anyway, good luck in your endeavors whatever they might be.

December 8, 2005 at 01:12 AM · Come on, isn't anyone here corny enough to use the Rodney King line?

December 8, 2005 at 01:28 AM · Eminem is more leet than playing on Zero Wing really. It's all just a cultural thing. With personal things thrown in.

December 8, 2005 at 03:15 AM · BTW Ilyusha,

Glad to hear you will be premiering new works.

Can you tell me what they are? (poshli po email esli hochesh).

December 8, 2005 at 04:04 AM · Eric, you're GREEN!

Green, green, green.

And you can't speak Russian neither.

December 8, 2005 at 04:33 AM · poshli po email esli hochesh = "send it by email if you like"

The most confusing about this thread is the term "great interpreter". Who decides on the "greatness" of an interpreter so he/she could serve as an example for this thread?

Second most confusing: "will make it". Make what? A living? Being famous? Being extremely happy playing music for his/her kids? ...

Third most confusing: "marketable" versus "being marketed". Everybody is marketable, how else could certain people become presidents, conductors, even soloists? It might just need a bit more effort for certain people getting them on the market.

No wonder the responses seem a bit "out of consistency".


December 8, 2005 at 04:30 AM · Yes. And the only interesting and new parts of the topic got ignored or sidestepped.

December 8, 2005 at 04:56 AM ·

You have entered the green dimension known as musician land. The people who live here think market forces do not apply. To ward off the demons of capitalism that surround them they chant 'but it's art, but it's art, but it's art' to themselves, only stopping to beg the occassional uninformed outsider to buy a season's membership to the local symphony. As you stare, a dinsosaur rumbles past in the distance.

December 8, 2005 at 05:01 AM · That was a classicalista hissy fit. Let's go play some blues.

December 8, 2005 at 04:55 AM · Music is nothing more or less than a business. The composers had to sell their "composing service" to someone enabling them to compose. Music publishers had to find people buying sheet music. And interpreters? Just buy strings or a Strad for a change and you will immediately understand the business nature of music. There is nothing sinister or immoral about music being a business, however.

So: the safest way to kill music is ignoring its business nature. Unfortunately the upbringing of an interpreter very often forms minds believing that respecting reality doesn't go along well with being an artist. Lots of interpreters even choose this profession as an escape from reality. But ignoring air will not help you to stop breathing for the rest of your life.


December 8, 2005 at 06:23 AM · Lara St. John for President!

December 8, 2005 at 08:53 AM · Not a bad idea. Why does everybody automatically think Hillary Clinton?

P.S. Eric, good coding by hand ;)

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Classic Violin Olympus

Coltman Chamber Music Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Jargar Strings


Violin Lab



Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine