LETTER OF THE MONTH…
DOES CLASSICAL MUSIC NEED A REBRAND?
The provocative blog on your website for the need to change the term “classical music” [to “orchestral music”, as suggested by James Williams, Director of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra] in order to appeal to the younger generation deserves serious consideration. Our current concept of classical music encompasses music of all ages (yes, contemporary as well) and genres, not music of the Classical era (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven etc). To change to the alternative “orchestral music” is misplaced as it excludes chamber, solo instrumental, choral music and opera. A more comprehensive term would be “serious music”. Surely, the long term solution to involving the younger generation of today is compulsory and comprehensive musical education in public schools, not necessarily a change in terminology. All serious Limelight readers should proactively canvass their local State and Federal Member of Parliament to change the curriculum and provide students an early introduction to a much wider cultural perspective. Andrew Mitterdorfer, Gordon, NSW
Congratulations, Andrew! Letter of the Month wins the new ABC Classics release America: Brilliant and Bold, an 8-CD box set celebrating two centuries of American classical music.
GLAD FOR ‘OUR GLAD’
Thank you so much for the article by Leonie Egan [April issue] and her efforts to establish an archive of Gladys Moncrieff memorabilia. Extraordinary that this has not already been done – and wonderful to know that it is happening. Friends and I would be interested to read in Limelight any updates on this important project. Caroline Jones AO
WE IN PERTH are THE LUCKY ONEs
Joseph Nolan may consider Australia the lucky country [April issue] but those of us privileged to have been with him on this amazing 10-year journey feel that we in WA are the lucky ones. Listening to him play the organ at St George’s Cathedral, watching him conduct his cathedral consort with such energy and enthusiasm in the Cathedral or concert hall or when attending Carols in the Cathedral at Christmas time, I often have to pinch myself and remember that this is happening in one of the most isolated cities in the world and say a prayer of thanks to Dr John Shepherd for having such foresight, and to Joseph for hanging in there. I too remember the Monteverdi Vespers as one of the most thrilling concerts that I have ever attended. And in June last year, I was one of the few Western Australians lucky enough to hear Joseph play all of Widor’s Organ Symphonies on the huge Melbourne Town Hall organ for free – apart from the airfare of course! It’s been a wonderful ride so far; long may it continue. Alison Brown, Guildford, WA
DON’T DUMB DOWN CLASSIC FM
For over 40 years now ABC Classic FM has provided an invaluable service to Australians of all ages. As a young listener who has grown up listening to Classic FM every day, I am dismayed at the direction management has taken in axing great programs including Off the Record, From the Vault, Jazz Track and especially Keys to Music and the Midday Interview. These intelligent, engaging programs have been replaced with poor substitutes including The Game Show and Screen Sounds, both of which I have to turn off. I now lament the days of Julia Lester and Christopher Lawrence presenting new compositions, and wide-ranging interesting World Music on Weekday Drive. If ABC management thinks that these new programs are appealing to young people, they are grossly mistaken. There is a large audience of young people who are very disappointed at this dumbing down of our beloved Classic FM. Josh Davis, Charlestown, NSW
MORE MUSIC, LESS COMMENTARY
I enjoy Classic FM overall and have done so for many years. I myself have presented classical music once or twice a month on community radio 2AAA FM in Wagga Wagga for over 20 years and still enjoy new discoveries and experiences of classical music. I loved great presenters like Christopher Lawrence and Phillip Sametz. I can cope with occasional text messages shared, but not to dominate. Catherine Hamm [April letters] was spot on in this regard. It should be predominantly good music and good, brief commentary. And please, I do not need to be told umpteen times that this is “for you”. That should be a given! Attract new audiences, yes, but do not pander to modernity. Keep up the good work. Peter Keith, Wagga Wagga, NSW
CAPTION ME HAPPY
So happy to know that Classical Captions, in our beloved Limelight, will be continuing, thanks to the new owners, Robert Veel and Bruce Watson. Congratulations also to Jo Litson on becoming editor. Gordon Williamson, Hemsley Park, VIC
We’d love to hear about the performances you’ve loved (or hated), the music you’re listening to or your favourite artists. Are there any features you’ve enjoyed or anything you’d like to see more of in the magazine?
Our July issue’s Letter of the Month wins Lu Siqing’s The Beauty of the Violin with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ben Northey.
To enter, email email@example.com. No more than 200 words please. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Please include a daytime phone number with your letter. Only selected letters will appear in the July 2018 issue of Limelight, on sale from Monday July 2 – available to subscribers from Monday June 25.