Article supplied by  Music Australia  as part of our classical music partnership.

It is wonderful to hear classical musicians occasionally talking openly about popular music and sharing their views on this subject. It makes them more human. UK pianist Stephen Hough, who believes the format of classical concerts needs to be shaken up, has declared: “I love the Carpenters. [Karen Carpenter] had a beautiful voice. There’s room for everything – but that includes the late quartets of Beethoven.”

It might be no more than a profound disinterest in popular music that prevents more classical musicians expressing their opinions on the subject. However, one suspects Hough is not alone in admitting to a secret liking for at least some tiny area of pop music, rock or jazz. One wishes more had the courage to say so. Insignificant though it may seem, doing so might connect them more with the broader public mind. Even just recognising that this alternative musical world exists – irrespective of whether one happens to like it or not – could help in terms of creating dialogue and breaking down barriers.

Michael Kieran Harvey Michael Kieran...