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Classical Resolutions: Marin Alsop Targets A Tech-Savvy Future

Where is classical music now, and where is it headed? Join the discussion with prominent musicians like Marin Alsop by leaving your thoughts in the comments section.

One of my greatest joys would be to see a resurgence (or maybe just a surge, period!) in the popularity of classical music over the next few decades.  Can anyone envision that?

There are so many ways that we need to adapt, assess and reinvent ourselves in order to make classical music vital, relevant, and connected -- from what we wear onstage all the way to the expectations of our audiences. I do see our industry making efforts to adapt to our changing society, but we tend to be a slow and conservative lot when it comes to change.

For me, the most exciting change emanates from the musicians themselves. They seem to be coming to terms with our ever-changing world, and now grasp that the purpose of recordings and digital offerings is to market the orchestra; to create a unique and distinctive brand; and to spread the orchestra's name to as many people as possible.

The live recording contract in America, a union agreement which now covers downloading and streaming, is a huge step towards achieving that goal. But I would hope, moving forward, that musicians would look ahead to all of the digital opportunities possible, and work out a win-win situation, so that organizations can market orchestras on as many levels as possible through new technology -- within reason, but without massive restrictions.

My hope for the new year is that orchestras can become far more flexible, to respond to innovation quickly. And that managements and boards can recognize and seize those opportunities on behalf of our orchestras and those who love to listen to them.

Marin Alsop is the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

What are your expectations of classical music and those who make it, manage it, and market it? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

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Marin Alsop artist page: listen to interviews, features and music archived at NPR Music.