John Adams on classical music: ‘it is something you need exposure to and familiarity with to appreciate’

Ben Lawrence writes in his Telegraph interview with composer John Adams :

In the past he [John Adams] has been somewhat downbeat about his career and seems surprised when I quote him stating that, as a contemporary classical composer, “we always have to live with the assessment that classical music is dead.

“Did I say that?” he asks with a small sense of bewilderment. “I don’t feel that’s the case. I am currently staying at an apartment in the Royal Academy and, last night, I found a stack of very old copies of Gramophone magazine from 50 or 60 years ago. It seems that things were just the same then. Classical music always felt endangered because it has always been an elite activity. I don’t mean that in a snobbish way – it is something you need exposure to and familiarity with to appreciate. It has nothing to do with class or money.”

 

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