A very well said summation from John von Rhein and my letter to him personally below:
Dear Mr. von Rhein,
Your article concerning the the post-Cliburn reality is a wonderful summation indeed. The music world and its opportunities for young artists have indeed evolved into an existence a bit different from the ones we remember after earlier Cliburn events. Due to the changes of worldwide demographics and audience attendance, not to mention the technological diversions from the concert halls, the realities for these young artists and their eventual need to network and soul search is ever more a reality than in years gone by. I hope many pianists (and instrumentalists) will read your article, as it is an honest lesson to be learned for many attempting to secure a recognizable career stronghold in the 21st century world of music.
I was happy to read your reference to the first time the Cliburn event utilized live audio and video–I was the first to use this technology back in 1997 in a first live audio and video streaming recital on two occasions: in New York’s Steinway Hall on July 8 and 25, 1997, and during the following season for the first European event from Amsterdam for a Netherlands based internet company pushing their streaming technology. It was an idea I had to help broaden the 21st century audience addicted to the internet, to bring a classical piano recital directly to them in the privacy of their own home (and/or office). Peter Goodrich, Director of Concert and Artists Services, remarked that it was ahead of its time when the Steinway event was produced, but it did indeed prove the technology worked (despite a delayed glitch on the first run on the July 8 cybercast). I still envision recitals and symphony orchestra subscription series being available online (for a nominal fee to ‘attend’) which will eventually assist the orchestras and concert series in their online revenue to stay afloat. From what I have witnessed during my travels (although my concerts have been well attended), this is something that may eventually become necessary due to a declining attendance amongst younger attendees. The internet might not be the same as the ‘live’ concert hall experience, but with enhanced home theatre on the rise, home concert attendance might become a fine adjunct to the ‘live’ concert hall attendance.
I hope to have the pleasure to play again in the Chicago area. In the interim, please feel free to visit my web site www.cyberecital.com. Once the premiere of the Lowell Liebermann Third Piano Concerto has occurred next May in Milwaukee (and will be followed by 17 other orchestras performing the work with me as far as Europe), I am sure the new concerto will be pitched to the Chicago area.
With very kind regards,