Classical California’s Bill Lueth and Lara Downes took part in a discussion about what the future holds for classical music in a forum hosted by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The event was called “Can Classical Music End its Love Affair with Crisis? A Conversation About Inventing the Future of Music.” The panel reflected the broad coalition of arts partners that SFCM president David Stull has been working to develop in the 10 years since he’s been in that position. In addition to being the broadcast home to Classical KDFC in the recently-built Bowes Center, the Conservatory has also formed alliances with premiere artist management companies Askonas Holt and Opus 3 Artists, as well as the record label Pentatone. These partnerships will enable young musicians to face a different cultural landscape than might have been possible just a few years ago. David Stull says many of the negative assumptions about the health of classical music are rooted more in habit than reality.
Pentatone Managing Director Sean Hickey suggests that this more holistic approach, which starts with the students who are just about to launch their concert careers and extends through management, recording, and broadcasting, could be the blueprint for a new and healthier ecosystem.
Donagh Collins, the CEO of Askonas Holt and Opus 3 Artists, says the possibility of greater artistic freedom and security is going to be a draw for young musicians, beyond just joining the company that represents Yo-Yo Ma, Nicola Bendetti, Marin Alsop and Daniil Trifonov.
Classical California evening host Lara Downes cited her own unique vantage point of being a recording and performing artist with a radio megaphone, to help people find an entryway into the world of classical music and join the community of music lovers.
You can watch the entire conversation, which took place at the beginning of March, 2023 here: