« Live from Carnegie Hall | Main | Stephen Fry is a GOD! »


I just received a newsletter from Greg Sandow containing his Four Keys for the Future (of classical music). In these four short precepts he has brilliantly summed up what many of us have been saying for years: Classical music is just one form amongst many - we have to stop isolating it from the other kids on the block as if PSY, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are going to have a bad influence on Beethoven, Shostakovich and Mahler!; You’re not going to find new audiences in concert halls, so get out into the world and add to the smorgasbord of music that all ready enriches people’s lives; let your personality and love of the music you play shine through your performance, it is YOU playing Beethoven that people have come to experience. Be imaginative, be visual, be genuine and never, never, never pander to anyone!!!

So thank you, Greg for your Four Keys. I hope performers everywhere will take them to heart.


1. Understand and respect the culture outside classical music.

 Your new audience will come from the world outside classical music. Where else could it come from? And to reach these new people, you of course have to know them. Who are they? What kind of culture do they already have? You have to respect them, because if you don’t, they won’t respect you.

2. Work actively to find your audience.

The people you want to reach may not yet care about classical music. So they won’t respond to conventional PR and marketing. They won’t come to you on their own. And so you have to actively go out and find them. You have to talk to them where they live, where they work, and where they go for entertainment and for inspiration. You have to inhabit their world.

3. Be yourself.

Your urgency, your joy, and your passion will draw people to you. But you can’t be joyful if you don’t love the music that you perform. So never pander. Never struggle to be relevant. Perform music that makes your heart sing. Trust your new audience. Trust it to be smart, to be curious, and to respond with joy when it sees how joyful you are.

4. Make music vividly.

The people you reach will want to love the music you bring them. But can you meet them halfway? Are you bringing them something they really can love? Your performances should be entirely yours, performances nobody else could give. Your music should breathe. Contrasts should feel like they’re contrasts. Climaxes should feel like climaxes. Are you doing everything you can to bring your music alive?

Click here for Greg Sandow's blog entry "Four Keys to the Future"

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.