No, the state of classical music is troubled because its a creative industry caught in the upheaval of an emerging digital economy. The traditional classical music business model, less than half a century old, is a failing economy, even as new, more entrepreneurial experimentation is underway. Classical music is being pushed into an uncertain future by the digital maelstrom sweeping popular music, journalism, book publishing and, increasingly, the lecture halls of colleges and universities. In many respects, the consumption of popular music, media, books, and classical music has never been more widespread and democratic, even while profits elude organizations and wages remain under pressure for skilled professionals. The classical music business model isnt working. The dominant model of labor relations in urban symphony orchestras is workers covered by collective bargaining agreements. The signal moment came in 1965, when the Ford Foundation began a significant match grant program for improving the financial lives of professional musicians.
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