Wednesday, November 18, 2009

State of Classical Radio - WTJU style

In an intriguing interview, "Ten Questions for a Critic: The State of Classical Music," Tom Huizenge chatted with Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette. The questions ranged from the future of live performance to the situation of composers today.

Talking about classical music on the radio, Midgette observed:

I hear an awful lot about classical radio and people's frustration with it. And people's frustration with the conventionality of the programming.[emphasis mine] That real classical music lovers are frustrated with having to listen to the real meat and potatoes, the same symphonies over and over again. And yet classical radio stations say that in order to get the donations that we need to survive, this is what we need to play.

And that's the dilemma many stations face. Adventuresome programming, or the same old same old that brings in the pledge dollars.

We've always kept it adventuresome here at WTJU, as even a cursory glance at our schedule will reveal. We feature a complete opera every Sunday, we have dedicated programs for early music, vocal music, and even organ music.

Most of our announcers started off as listeners, and, I think, the kind of listeners Midgette talked about.

We've chosen to explore classical music in all its diversity and not just play the same old same old. We think it's worthwhile, but do you?

Because the other part of what Midgette points out is true as well. When you stray beyond the confines of classical Muzak, you start to lose mass appeal -- and potential donors.

So if you're someone looking for something more than just the "meat and potatoes" kind of classical programming, welcome to the sonic smorgasbord that is WTJU.

And if you're already partaking of the buffet, then let me ask: have you made your donation to support WTJU? We're not at the point where WTJU needs to choose between playing real classical music and starving, or playing classical pops and thriving -- and your donation ensures it stays that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment