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Programming the Contemporary: Poll Results

While I would hate to fall into the habit of collecting information and then dismissing it out of hand (reportedly a habit of my late mother-in-law, who would cite information from The New York Times and then add, “But what do they know?”), I cannot quite believe that these poll responses actually represent the views of a random cross-section of the classical music audience. The nascent statistician in me is forced to admit that my polling group is probably not a representative sampling.

However, if we take these results at face value, artistic directors in orchestras across America should rejoice at the unexpected good news that more than 60% of audiences are actually hungry for more contemporary programming. Too bad that ticket sales don’t support this claim.

By Anne Midgette  |  May 21, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  polls  
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Next: In Performance: Local News and Reviews


One observation. I was surprised to see more people attending the Thursday Knussen concert than the Friday Creation under Rilling (these were the dates that I attended.) And I spotted a twenty-something man telling his date / girlfriend that he enjoyed Knussen's concert more than The Creation (I enjoyed both but, pressed, I would still opt for Haydn.)

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | May 21, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Extrapolating from your poll results, one would assume that classical music radio listeners may also be equally hungry for more contemporary programming, instead of the endlessly bland offerings of DC's only classical station.

Posted by: dsiebert1 | May 21, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"...the endlessly bland offerings of DC's only classical station" is the classical equivalent of elevator music. That has a role of possibly attracting people in the street into classical music. And, we should all be aware by now that the classical music is a slowly dying business all over this country. Just count how many economic stimulus dollars are going into supporting the arts. Dismal! Now that is how important the arts is to this country. The radio station is doing a wonderful job of sprinkling just enough new music among "endless bland offerings" to make it interesting to people in the elevator. They are doing the best to survive themselves. Remember that only few years ago, we completely lost classical music radio offerings in the area for a short while. We are lucky to get back at least one. Count our blessings! Or, we may end up with another 24-hour news or political radio talk shows.

Posted by: joungcook | May 24, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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