The Fat Lady…is she still singing?

OrchestraIt’s an argument that has been raging for decades– Classical Music is Dead. It’s a battle cry that is repeated by naysayers with almost a certain amount of glee.  The past week Mark Vanhoenacker wrote an article for Slate Magazine, declaring the death of classical music in America and providing his own version of an obituary describing the decades long death.

The internet went wild1 with this article, spawning several pieces that condemned Mr. Vanhoenacker’s assessment. The most interesting article that was written as a refutation of Mr. Vanhoenacker’s, came from The New Yorker, written by William Robin.

‘“Classical music in America is dead.” Those words rang out across the Internet last week; their source, a Slate article written by Mark Vanhoenacker, complete with a gravestone illustration and the hoary cliché of the singing fat lady. It was nothing we hadn’t read before, but the timing of the latest obituary was particularly strange. Yes, New York City Opera folded last fall. But, a week before the Slate piece appeared, the Minnesota Orchestra emerged from a fifteen-month lockout crisis, and the day after publication the New York Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony announced energetic 2014-15 seasons. So what brought on this latest spasm of morbidity? And why is the American media so fixated on the supposedly imminent demise of classical music?’ (via

Mr. Robin’s article is well worth the read. To read the article in it’s entirety, please click here.




1. Well,…the part of the internet that keeps up with Classical Music news went wild. Obviously, MTV really didn’t care to pick up on this story.

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