I'm intrigued by the story Levine relates of Thomas' career in the reading. I found it a bit depressing that he concluded that the "working class" simply can't enjoy classical music. I think- or at least hope- this elitist attitude that one must be educated properly to enjoy classical is a fallacy, and probably contributes quite a bit to the sense of intimidation people feel about going to the symphony or the opera.
On the other hand, Thomas was forced to resort to a lot of gimmicks to get a wide audience at his Central Park concerts. What do you guys think? Is it possible to combine high-quality music with a wider appeal? What can we do to help expose more people to classical?