Peabody's Bronstein, others address the uncertain future of classical music

Dean pens 'Baltimore Sun' op-ed, moderates panel discussion on topic

What is the future of classical music?

That is the question addressed Tuesday during a panel discussion—aptly titled "What's Next for Classical Music?—hosted by the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute.

Watch: Peabody symposium, part one (145:48)
Watch: Peabody symposium, part two (39:33)

It's also the topic addressed by Peabody's new dean, Fred Bronstein, in an op-ed published Tuesday by The Baltimore Sun titled "The future of classical music.". Bronstein writes:

As the new dean of Johns Hopkins' Peabody Institute, I have spent the past several months on a listening tour, talking with leaders among Baltimore's education and culture institutions, businesses, non-profits and government agencies. And for those of you who may have heard the premature rumors of the death of classical music, I have good news: Baltimore loves its classical music and embraces its institutions dedicated to the art form. As a newcomer to this town, I have been thoroughly impressed and energized by the warmth and enthusiasm that has been uniformly expressed about Peabody and about what we do.

It is also gratifying to see that Baltimore's enthusiasm for our performing arts has not blinded people to the challenges we face, which are very real. You don't have to spend much time Googling the subject to see dramatic claims about decreases in concert attendance and news of performing arts organizations in crisis.

Peabody's symposium, moderated by Bronstein, brought together national leaders in the industry to ponder the future of classical music, how it is changing, and what role a conservatory like Peabody has in shaping that future and preparing students to be successful in it. The panel featured maestra Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Ben Cameron, director of arts fundraising at the Doris Duke Charitable Trust; Thomas Dolby, Homewood Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins; Marina Piccinini, concert flutist and Peabody faculty member; and Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras.

Three of those panelists—Bronstein, Dolby, and Rosen—were also part of a recent Al Jazeera America report titled "Saving the Symphony".