(K. Brent Tomer),
TALLINN Music Week draws a young crowd. One imagines that they might listen to techno, R&B or jazz in their spare time; they do not seem like the types typically found in a classical concert hall. This year, festival organisers took a risk in featuring Steve Reich, a contemporary classical composer, in their opening concert. Mr Reich, who composes in the minimalist style, is known for pieces such as Clapping Music—an ensemble clapping rhythmically for four minutes. Even die-hard classical music fans can find Mr Reich’s oeuvre hard to digest; younger detractors will be even harder to win over.
Other contemporary classical composers face similar problems. Though pieces by Mr Reich, Pierre Boulez, Elliot Carter and other giants of the genre are regularly performed by symphony orchestras, they usually feature in the concert’s brief overture slot, sandwiched between more familiar pieces. Though no concert planner disputes the value of music written after the 1930s—giants of the period include Arnold Schönberg and Dmitry Shostakovich—a performance featuring only contemporary works is unlikely to attract regular concert-goers. Of…Continue reading