So I finally googled "classical music future" and was shocked what came up. I found a website talking about video game music. I know absolutely nothing about video games so forgive me if I'm naive on the subject. The subject of the article is "Tomorrow's Classical Music" so my initial thought was "oh neat they are using classical music in video games." Was I wrong! The writer suggests in his article that orchestras will have to make room in their programming for music composed or "remixed" specifically for video games. It seems to be all the rage for young people and some orchestras have recorded video game music or performed it to sold out crowds: Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra to name a few. There is an orchestra in Sydney devoted to video and anime music, Eminence Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra's vision is to "inject something bold, dynamic and fresh into classical music," and "break down the barriers between the audience and the musicians, and to revive orchestra in today's society; particularly amongst youth".
Is this really the future of classical music? I think, at least from my perspective as a classical musician, this is an unorthodox use of the term "classical music." How one defines that term is the underlying question to all of our discussions. I don't see the connection between studying, listening to and enjoying classical music (in my sense of the term) and staring at a computer screen playing a game. At least for youth, classical music can be an opportunity to hone a skill, interact with others in a positive activity for the brain. Maybe it is my bias against video games but I don't see them as being constructive. This raises an important ethical question - what activities do we value in our society? Is my bias against video games a result of my highbrow mentality, or as a classical musician must I be more open to performing video game music in an orchestra to reach youth? Another question - is classical music pure entertainment or an intellectual experience? I think it is both and finding a balance is where it gets complicated.