Monday, November 19, 2012

Invitation to a Dialogue?


The NY Times has a more or less weekly feature called Invitation to a Dialogue. They pick out a letter to the editor on some subject of interest and invite interested readers to respond; the original letter writer then gets to write a response to the responses.

This week, former Met Opera Orchestra violinist Les Dreyer, who gets letters published in the Times with remarkably frequency, has a letter discussing how to save classical music.

Well, it's not even clear to me that classical music needs saving. I won't say much about why, but I've written about the subject plenty over the years. Mr. Dreyer doesn't come close to defining all of the issues and problems facing classical music. After all, you could write a book about this - and indeed, a few people have or are trying to (hi, Greg!).

I can't imagine the resulting letters will saying anything that hasn't been said at great length and with more detail than we've already seen in the last few years.


Dr.B said...

Bibliography would be appreciated.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Take a look at:

- Richard Florida's book on the creative class

- Greg Sandow's blog and web site (he's working on a book, which I do not intend to read; his arguments are full of holes)

- Who Needs Classical Music? Cultural Choice and Musical Value By Julian Johnson

- Classical Music, Why Bother? By Joshua Fineberg

- Why Classical Music Still Matters By Lawrence Kramer

Also read Richard Taruskin's review of the last three, which was in The New Republic a few years ago. He blew them to smithereens.

Elaine Fine said...

Perhaps the Times is out looking for new subscribers (I think that in order to engage you need to subscribe), and wants to engage their new members in cultural talk that isn't too intimidating,

Lisa Hirsch said...

You can read Les Dreyer's letter without having an account (I tested this) and the "engagement" isn't on line. You respond by sending a letter. So whatever the motivation is, it's not to get subscribers. Their paywall handles that...