(That is, is there anyone at your concert?)
One of the several blogs I keep up with is The Rest Is Noise, from the New Yorker’s music critic, Alex Ross. He really has his finger on the pulse of classical music in the modern age. There is rarely an event worth noting that makes it past him. Ross, through his reporting, is an inspiration to me—he knows and is showing us there really is much life left in the classical music world.
Why, then, is there always this doom and gloom story when we talk about classical music? I think it’s because most musicians have forgotten one central idea about our art: it must be relevant.
So what does it mean to be relevant? That’s a very broad question with broad and what might seem to be contradictory answers. Relevancy is determined first and foremost by your audience.
And who is your audience? Is it “blue hairs” over the age of sixty? Is it art gallery–going hipsters in their twenties? Working class? Upper class?
“Relevant” is not a one-size-fits-all idea. You have to pick your audience and then market yourself to that audience. And to that audience only, at least at first. Try to diversify too much and you won’t be relevant.
Who’s your audience and how do you market to them? If you’ve got an idea, leave me a comment!