What's it like in Germany?
Philip Hensher here http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion...c-7766906.html paints a picture which is depressingly familiar to many of us on this board. However, I find myself wondering whether this situation is peculiar to the UK or whether Germany (which I imagine to have had for centuries a much richer musical culture than ours) is managing to resist this slide. Does anyone here have any recent experience of musical life in Germany?
Not quite Germany, but Goethe Institut London recently had an open day to mark completion of refurbishment, with the following programme:
Originally Posted by rauschwerk
1 – 5pm Children’s activities: Craft your own animal masks and puppets
1 – 1.45pm German taster lesson
1 – 1.45pm Percussion workshop by Yaaba Education, under the direction of Tobias Stürmer
2 – 2.45pm Meet the Artist: Gloria Zein leads a guided tour through her exhibition
3 – 3.45pm German taster lesson
3 – 3.45pm Percussion workshop by Yaaba Education, under the direction of Tobias Stürmer
4 – 4.45pm Meet the Artist: Gloria Zein leads a guided tour through her exhibition
4 – 4.45pm German taster lesson
6 – 7pm (Doors open 5.30pm) Live gig by Silbermond ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN9r_qCHnJQ )
It has been my experience that on mentioning Classical Music to German speakers, I am just met with a polite smile.
I don't know about the situation in Germany, but I'm not sure I'd go along entirely with Hensher's thesis about the situation in the UK. It's true that the coverage of the arts and classical music in particular has declined badly on public service broadcasting, but other avenues are opening up e.g. through cinecasts and the internet which allow for more direct communication with the classical music audience (which is surely growing, not declining, in global terms). It's still possible to hear exceptional orchestral concerts with UK-based orchestras, there are plenty of excellent chamber music groups and soloists and many summer festivals. The bad economic situation will certainly have an effect on opportunities for musicians, not least through Arts Council cuts, but I have heard the obituaries of classical music sounded too many times - indeed 20 years ago the likes of Lebrecht would have been writing the same kind of article as Hensher has written now. Classical music isn't dying - it's just that the way the BBC portrays it makes it seem like that.
I only know Leipzig at all well. The Gewandhaus still feels quite stiff and formal compared to UK. The audience seems quite "establishment" with the vast majority dressing up for the occasion with lots of men in business suits. I think this atmosphere might be off-putting to a potential new younger audience members. We went to see the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie in Bremen and it was more easy-going. Last year, a good friend of ours, whose wife is a professional singer, and is head of music in a German Gymnasium (grammar school) got Proms season tickets and moved to London for the summer.
Last edited by gurnemanz; 23-05-12 at 12:00.
As a matter of interest, gurnemanz, did the subject of any difference in the atmosphere around classical music between here and Germany arise in conversation?
Originally Posted by gurnemanz
I can't remember any specific comments but I know they enjoyed the informality of the Proms.
Originally Posted by Serial_Apologist