Sunday, October 28, 2012

New York's "Camerata" Group Helps Foster Classical Music Growth

I recently came across an article detailing Richard Owen, the musical director and entrepreneurial mastermind behind the New York based group Camerata. This group gives 6 to 10 annual concerts covering repertoire from the baroque to modern period. The group's aim is to instill classical music as a vital part of New York's, more importantly, the US's culture. Moreover, the group also exists to counter the ongoing financial cuts in the arts field by providing opportunities for young musicians.

What struck me about this article was the fact that Richard Owen also worked at a bank. He is able to use his skills as not only a musician, but also as a business person, to make classical music relevant to today's society. This reminds me of a post that Joanne had written earlier this year, referencing an article that Michelle Jones, a violinist, had written regarding the future of classical musicians. Ms. Jones suggests that conservatory and other music students should also have to double major in business during school, so that they understand how to make a living as a musician. I will say that I disagree with this statement because, in my opinion, having music students major in another field spreads them out too thin into an already rigorous schedule, giving them even less time to practice their instruments. (I believe that conservatory students should spend as little time in the classroom as possible and that the bulk of their work should go to practicing and performing; however, I digress from the main point) Nevertheless, I believe that Ms. Jones does make a valid point that the business side of music is not given enough attention. Furthermore, I feel that there should be more opportunities in the music field for students with business degrees. It will be an added bonus if said business students were avid supporters of the classical music field.

I think the Camerata are moving in the right direction, sending a message that music is vital to our cultural identity. In addition, the Camerata make it an aim to provide young musicians with ample opportunities to make a living performing in a time when even the big orchestras are making big financial cuts. This sparks hope for young musicians, especially those on the brink of entering the job market.

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