First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.

~ George Burns ~

The Perilous Life Of Symphony Orchestras

August 5th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 57 secs

Heearing symphony orchestras is surprisingly uplifting.

Yep, the perilous life of symphony orchestras makes them a tough gig to keep up. At risk of sounding highbrow, I like classical music. Come to think of it, I like almost all music!  But the difficulties  orchestras endure deserves mentioning because, unlike most other musical forms, live symphony performance  is at risk.

Although concert goers in formal wear conjure up high society and equivalent funding, the reality is a little bit different. In many parts of the world, orchestras are doing it tough. With insufficient funding and small audiences, it’s hard to pay performers enough, let alone put on crowd-pulling performances. The perilous life of symphony orchestras means that keeping concerts going can be a line ball thing.

This is a major shame, as there’s something special about live classical music. Indeed, a surprising number of rock and pop performers cut their teeth on learning classical (particularly in singing). Being able to play at such a high level gives performers the skills and discipline to break new ground and achieve in more popular forms.

That aside, classical music is a form of auditory treasure that people widely recognize the world over. For a state or nation to have it’s own symphony orchestra is a serious sign of cultural cred. Mindy you, that hasn’t made the perilous life of symphony orchestras any easier. In this day and age of user pays, and proving your worth in monetary terms, ensembles have to be savvy to find ways to keep the show on the road.

Now you might be wondering how come I’m a fan of symphony orchestras, given I live on the bottom edge of the earth. You might have thought I’d be more likely to wake to the sound of Tasmanian devils snarling than gentle classical music from the clock radio. Well, aside from the odd wallaby licking my chin or kookaburra laughing to get me up out of bed, a bit of gentle classical works wonders for me. I don’t know the names of many pieces and I lack much knowledge on the theme. But I find it’s the kind of music that lifts my soul and takes me to a heightened state of appreciation. So it’s hard not to love.  Which is why the practical aspect of the perilous life of symphony orchestras gets my attention. It doesn’t matter if you prefer rock music, country and western, reggae, pop, rap, bluegrass, jazz, or any one of dozens of others. Classical music is part of our heritage. So, even if you’re not yet a fan, why not do something different and visit a live concert of classical music near you? If enough of us do that, the problem is solved. Better yet, you’ll have a memorable experience that will always stay with you.



Comments are closed.