Eddie Pensier writes:
There are those who see “ugly meanings in beautiful things.” Classical music and its institutions come under relentless criticism. The barometers by which music is often measured are extrinsic to the art form itself. Classical music’s presence in our society is worth defending. It is not the music’s problem if it is not popular, not economically viable, deemed irrelevant or not to everyone’s taste. It is our problem.
Those of us who believe in its value must be the defenders, not because it is in our personal interests to do so, but because the survival of the art form is vitally important for society. The conviction of the convinced is essential; the vacillation of the lukewarm, the apologetic and the self-serving is dangerous.
Despite our small demographic, if we are devoted, passionate and deeply attached, we can make a difference. We, a minority of sorts, have to live for art with a depth of conviction and devotion that others, whose lives and tastes place them squarely in the vast majority, need not.
Max Oppenheimer, Gustav Mahler Conducting The Vienna Philharmonic (1935)