8:30 am. I just had a light breakfast, and I’m about to drink the first coffee of the day. Half sleepy, I check my feed reader while sipping my dose of caffeine. So, what’s happening in the classical music world? I used to enjoy reading news about classical music, it used to bring me pleasure and positiveness compared to the uninterrupted flow of negativity we can hear in the traditional news. Well, checking the specialized websites and blogs used to be my routine. But not anymore.
Yes, I fled classical music news. My interest gradually went down until I figured these news were in fact having a negative impact on my mood. News have become a long list of bankruptcies, alarmist titles, epic fails, disasters, concerns about the future of classical music. Well, if I was an adept of conspiracy theories I could have easily thought a mogul somewhere wanted all the classical music related people to commit suicide so he can definitely get rid of our noisy art.
In the course of the 3 last years, I have been reading the same thing over and over : classical music is endangered, everything in this business goes wrong. Booh, that sounds scary. Let’s spend the next 30 seconds trying to understand all this. Why such a statement? Everyone has an explanation: today’s composers are unable to write beautiful classical music like in the past, audience is aging and declining, classical music world is too stuffy and so on… Well, discussing the validity of these arguments would be indeed a lot of fun. But more important than an endless subjective fight is to notice that the heavy criticism basically led nowhere, except to a schism and an increasing number of worried and depressed people in the world of classical music.
Have you ever wondered why people like classical music? Maybe, because it makes them disconnect with their problems, bring them a little joy and happiness. Classical Music changed my life to the point I couldn’t live without it. It helped me go through difficult times in my life. And I believe it can do so for other people. But I’m also pretty sure it wouldn’t have had this effect on me if I had been overloaded with a huge amount of negative news. I guess I would have run away if it has simply reflected the cruel world we’re living in.
Sure the classical music business is not a heaven. It has its issues, everyone knows it, even the audience. Like everyone else in this business I struggle every day. I should say: Like everyone in any business I struggle every day. But that’s not important. The point is that no matter how tough my work can be, no matter the problems I encounter, I will be forever thankful I can play the piano, I will be forever grateful for the life I’m living. No matter what, classical music is a positive experience.
A long time ago, I acted in plays as a hobby and I learned one of the most important lessons: what happens backstage stays backstage. Especially the downsides. Endlessly publicly pointing out problems is not even the beginning of a solution. Endlessly being angry and vindictive is harmful. Endlessly predicting a revolution is tiring. Endlessly blaming others for our own failure is useless. All of this is counterproductive.
I’m happy. Truly happy. I want this happiness to be contagious. I want my love of classical music to be contagious. And I want to make my audiences even happier than I am using the only way I know to do so: playing music.