The Faustian Bargain

A blog about life outside the academy

Entries in audiences (2)


Learning to love the niche

Contemporary classical music. Surely there is no tougher sell than this. With classical music already a niche market, its contemporary version is a niche of that niche. But there are upsides. The audience for modern composition may be small, and hard to grow, but it is fiercely dedicated. Those who cross the rubicon and bring new music into their lives are incredibly committed: they'll attend dozens of concerts a year, travel long distances for the best festivals, read and listen extensively around their passion and, perhaps most importantly, talk about it with one another.

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Looking for ways to break down barriers

One of the greatest difficulties faced in the promotion of new music is a widespread perception of composers as aloof, sadistic and unsympathetic to the needs of listeners and performers. The first task of anyone writing promotional texts has to be to find a way to dissolve those perceptions without at the same time watering-down the intellectual content of the music.

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