Whatever happened to the long tail of composers?
Reader Antoine Leboyer writes to point out that the New York Philharmonic has made its programme archive available online and that the archive shows how past programmes were far more varied than those played today. Here are just some of the composers that Antoine highlights from past concerts by the orchestra: Siniaglia, Busoni, Bosi, Chadwick, Stanford, Loeffler, McDowell, Hadley, Goldmark, Pfitzner, Enesco, Vieuxtemps and Grétry. Antoine also remarks on how Webern's music has virtually disappeared from New York concerts in recent years. One of the many confidence tricks of the digital era is how a long tail of cultural riches was promised, but a short head immaculately coiffed by audience whoring celebrities was actually delivered. I suggest that one of the key search criteria for the New York Philharmonic's new music director should be a passion for giving audiences permission to like unfamiliar music.
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