Tim Rutherford-Johnson points to another one of those classical-music-is-dead-or-dying articles, this time a "manifesto for the future of classical music." It begins with the phrase:
The classical music industry is in decline,
and goes downhill from there. Just listen to the way that word "industry" clunks up against the word "music": does such a phrase give you any confidence that the writer actually likes the subject for which he claims to be advocating? I mean, if you dislike music so much that you can — without any apparent sense of irony, sarcasm, or grotesque — describe the live production of music in terms of industry, then you certainly cannot expect readers to take your proposals seriously.
Classical music is not dying, it's changing, and it's changing as it always has changed. It's changing in terms of the repertoire included by the term, the way in which it is played and presented, and how it is received. Moreover the change is not monocultural, defined by the movement of a single mainstream of prestige and highly concentrated economic power but increasingly diversified. If anything, this movement is away from any semblance of an industry and towards a resurgence of value in artisanship and craftsmanship. The most highly commodified form of music, the big label commercial recording, has been completely eclipsed, both by technological possibilities, economic realities, and the aesthetic advantages of having more alternatives available in recorded form and a coterminal restoration of the centrality and prestige of the live public performance. The format and venue of that live performance may well change, but it has always been changing. Some people and some institutions will lose out in this process, but that's okay as long as the real bottom line of making sure more music gets played and heard live is met.