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Gil Shaham and Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Gil Shaham and Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Q: I've heard and read a lot lately about the future of classical music, -- and the future of the orchestra concert and the recording industry. I know some orchestras are struggling and many arts institutions are cutting back. I'd like to know what you think about the future of classical music. (Loraine Fine, Berkeley, CA)

A: "What a miracle that somebody composed a piece of music three hundred years ago and it meant so much to his listeners that we're still playing it today. What an incredible thing that that is. I find that there's still so much left, so much excitement, in what we do and I'm always amazed to see how many people are so passionate about it. Not only do I feel like we're relevant, I feel like we're maybe much more relevant than we think you know? There's a lot of people out there who share our passion." (Violinist Gil Shaham)

"I'm very, very positive, more even positive than I've ever been, and I think really it's getting really better and better. The music will always be there, and the performance will always be there: it's just a matter of format, whether you called it an LP, and then it was a CD, it's going to go and maybe all disappear, it'll be digitalized and maybe downloading, it doesn't matter. The music will always be there. And people will always want to have this music available whether they're in their car, in their home, in their swimming pool, bicycle, doing the gym. And also another part very important, we will never replace the live concert. You can have the best technology, the sound will get better, but the actual contact of an audience (with) an artist onstage, that is something that you cannot recreate. This is just the - humanity: the real the artist is there and you feel the…it's almost like an electricity, and this you cannot replace. So there always will be people coming to our concert, I'm really not worried about it." (Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet)

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