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Classical 101

Should Columbus Go Alt-Classical?

Okay, Columbus. A couple of weeks ago, in a different post on this blog, I asked, "should there be more classical music performances in nightclubs in central Ohio?" Your response on Classical 101's Facebook page was a resounding "Yes!" But the plot thickens. Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran a story about how and why musicians in the city of Portland, Ore., have been blending their city's indie rock and classical music scenes and embracing alt-classical - performances of classical music in non-traditional venues like bars and nightclubs, but also performances by ensembles that combine acoustic and electric instruments and even classical and so-called popular musical genres. So, maybe it's not enough to put classical music in venues where it's not normally performed. Maybe, in order for classical music to have a vibrant future, classical music and musicians need to be able and willing to play in the sandbox with musicians and repertories of other musical genres. But then wouldn't classical music lose something of its own unique identity? What do you think? While Columbus is putting classical music in bars, should the Columbus classical music scene go alt-classical?