Classical music can be a destination point for many cities. So why can't Columbus Ohio be on that map? Because it takes investment and long term planning and intention to do so. Is it worth it?
Classical music is and always will be an art form which appeals to cutting edge thinkers as well as a broader public. But it is now marketed to the masses in most cities, leaving out the other smaller but critical demographic, the movers and shakers, so to speak.
What appeals to those leading edge thinkers? New and challenging programming that reflects the world as it is today, music written in response to the challenges and highlights of the 21st century rather than reflections of life 200 years ago. Until that is part of the long term plans of a city's classical music vision, it will forever be forced to program music more akin to pop than the cutting edge radical art which classical music was meant to be.
I hope that the Columbus Symphony, under its new auspices, the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts and music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni, will forge boldly in that direction. More importantly, I hope their efforts are supported by the city's financial elite, without whose backing no amount of creative programming will find its target.
Just as Mozart was supported, however reluctantly, in his "cutting edge" ideas by Austria's emperor, so should living composers and orchestras be encouraged in great cities like Columbus today.
The art form of classical music is meant to be radical. Let it be so today, even in Columbus, Ohio.
New York, Boston, Chicago and San Fran Get Great Marks for Cities with Classical Music - http://pulse.me/s/shOD