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R. Peczop-Beuys

It's difficult for any politician to argue that classical music - how to define the term, btw - is more deserving of tax money than any other form of performing (or rather underperforming, in purely economic terms) art. Let the market decide, goes the mantra in America, so it's only consistent not to come to the rescue of the orchestras, as sad as that may be.


The "Sandow data" link apparently does not work. I'd be really interested in that, if you could restore it?

Musical education (playing yourself an instrument and also music appreciation) has apparently failed even worse in the US than in Europe. But I am not so sure how strong the correlation between concert attendance and being able to play an instrument is. In bourgeois circles in Germany many children still play the piano, flute, violin etc., but only very few become seriously interested in listening to classical music.
Anti-intellectualism is probably worse in the US, but in Germany/Europ for some reason visual arts and theatre perfomance seem to fare better than classical music. I am not at all sure about causes and reasons for this.

Finally, I think one should realize that for most of its history, western classical music relied on some kind of subsidies, grants, patronage.


Sad, this.

More subsidies? I'd welcome it. I doubt if they would have much of an effect, though.

On a cheerier note: I've been reading Jim Svejda's guide to classical repertoire. Very opinionated but unfailingly witty. Recommend it highly to you and to your readers.


Tax cuts (and thus budget cuts) are a popular theme in US elections at least state level upwards. They may not always be realized for fear of hurting larger focus groups, but as it's said above, the number of people (voters) that are interested in classical music is meager. And even if not, office runners that keep pointing out the fact that state institutions are spending on arts, which are rather seen as a matter of the private sector over there, will make the image stuck that the peoples hard earned money gets wasted on some lib-elitist stuff, no matter how much or few it actually is.
It's not necessarily the current politicians don't want to conserve culture, but if they try to hard, they might get replaced by others who do.

Changing things would require a long term process even though matters seem urgent. Getting rid of the dualism between intelectual abilities and down-to-earth-attitudes, opening the upper class niche, arts have become, trashing the antiintelectualism that has spread over the last decades.

Maybe your recent articles about the GDR were inspiring in an unintentional way, but I feel about that matter, the Bitterfelder Weg may deserve another try. Let politics invite Kansas farmers and Pennsylvania miners to operas and orchestras, let classical artists join the proletarians to merge their impressions into works, both can relate to.

And then, when art has arived in the middle of society again, we'll talk about subsidies.

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