What If It's All Classical Music?

Can there be ‘classical music’ for the whole world in the 21st century?

Frank J. Oteri by Jeffrey Herman


Session 9

Chaired by Frank J. Oteri (US), composer advocate; co-editor, NewMusicBox; ISCM ExCom New Music USA

Classical:NEXT is about looking beyond what classical music is and can be in the 21st century. But in the year 2019, classical music, to most people, still means music of a handful of dead, male composers who are almost all from Europe despite the fact that traditions that are considered "classical" have existed in many cultures all over the world for hundreds of years, in some cases longer than there was classical music in Western Europe. In addition, over the course of the past centuries, other musical practices have evolved, such as jazz, that clearly have the same aesthetic aspirations as earlier classical traditions. Plus, nowadays, much of the most interesting music happening seeks to be "beyond genre", so where does it fit?