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The future of classical music

What will we listen to tomorrow – and how? A discussion with Volker Hagedorn

The topic has been current for quite a while: What is the future of classical music? Statistically speaking, this future does not look as bleak as it did about 15 years ago. Despite concert houses and music institutions fighting for financial stability everywhere, despite the fact that German orchestras have lost over 2000 contract positions, and despite the digital revolution having shrunk record industry sales by 40 per cent, the number of concert goers has indeed increased. For lovers of notated music, Germany currently offers more festivals than the year has days, the selection of a chief conductor can turn into a trending topic on Twitter, and the internet makes musical mile stones and rarities easily accessible to all. Interestingly enough, a growing virtual accessibility seems to result in a growing demand for un-repeatable live performances. Is there a new curiosity that the music industry could and should react to? What are the chances of new discoveries in old and new music alongside the standard repertory canon; which new concert forms are developing, and which ones could still be conceived? The discussion will be addressing these questions in hopes of finding some answers.

Host: Volker Hagedorn (author and journalist for DIE ZEIT and other publications)
Podium: Simone Kermes (soprano) | Wolf-Dieter Seiffert (managing director, G. Henle-Verlag) | Hartmut Welscher (founder and editor-in-chief, VAN Magazine)


Volker Hagedorn

Volker Hagedorn was born in 1961. He is a journalist and musician living in Northern Germany. Hagedorn studied viola in Hannover, worked as culture editor for the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung and as a music editor for the Leipziger Volkszeitung. Since 1996, he works as a freelance journalist for DIE ZEIT as well as several radio stations, newspapers, and magazines. In 2006, he became editor-in-chief of the 20-volume ZEIT Klassik Edition. He drafted the Mozart and Karajan editions of the journal ZEIT Geschichte. In 2012, ›Mann, Frau, Affe‹, a collection of columns written by Hagedorn, was released by the publisher Zu Klampen. Hagedorn is a member of the chamber music jury of the ›Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik‹. In addition to his work as a journalist, he is involved in music theater projects such as Salon Wittgenstein, which premiered at the Som-merliche Musiktage Hitzacker 2011. As a violist interested in baroque performance practice, Hage-dorn has taken part in several CD recordings.