You might be forgiven, then, for thinking that Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 is about fighting the evils of censorship. After all, the back cover copy declares it to be a “classic novel of censorship and defiance” and it’s generally taught this way in high schools. But Bradbury himself never took this line. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the author declared that “Fahrenheit’s not about censorship. It’s about the moronic influence of popular culture through local TV news, the proliferation of giant screens and the bombardment of factoids. We’ve moved in to this period of history that I described in Fahrenheit 50 years ago.”
Sudip Bose: "For the sake of a nice, neat number, I am identifying 25 great works — hardly a comprehensive tally, and somewhat arbitrary. Looking over the finalists, I began second-guessing at once: Why no Virgil Thomson or David Diamond? Why Bernstein's First and not his Second? Why not Ives's Third? I have not, moreover, included symphonic works that do not bear the title Symphony; therefore, I have left out Samuel Barber's Essays and Joan Tower's Concerto for Orchestra. What do you think I ought to have included?"
Caleb Crain: "A little more than a decade ago, I wrote an article for The New Yorker about American reading habits, which a number of studies then indicated might be in decline. ... I'll go out on a limb and say that I don't think that I got this part wrong. But I've often wondered whether I was right about the underlying trend, too. Were Americans in fact reading less back then? And are they reading even less today? Whenever I happen across a news article on the topic, I wonder if I'm about to find out whether I was Cassandra or Chicken Little." So Crain looked into the data.
"'The industry's tripled in size since the early 2000s,'" says [producer] Ma Jung-hoon. ... 'Half of our income comes from international sales." Says an American executive who distributes K-drama, "I think that the format of Korean dramas is very digestible. So instead of having these long, 20-episode, multi-series shows like we have in the US and other parts of the world, Korean dramas are [up to] 16 episodes. That's it, you only have one season."
“Our thesis for a lot of this work is that there is no future without the past,” Andrew Balio tells me. “I don’t think that’s a controversial statement.” He’s correct, and there’s no doubt that the Future Symphony Institute was born out of a real love for, and desire to share, the rich tradition of classical music. What the genre—and the wider arts world—found itself facing in the 20th century, however, was a challenging of the notion of a singular beauty, and a distrust of its pursuit.
With some of Karajan’s advice in mind (“guide the orchestra, don’t impose yourself”) Oundjian steadily rebuilt the band while adding big late- and post-romantic scores to his personal repertoire. More than half of TSO players, and two-thirds of principals, are Oundjian picks. While few would question Oundjian’s authority in choosing strings, he seems also to have an ear for wind, brass and percussion, and how they work together.
Sean Douglass: "I think we have to accept that the former critic and blogger landscape is gone, because there just isn't enough interest to sustain it. ... While many blogs may be gone, the social media that has replaced them can be a far more powerful tool for reaching people than what we've ever had before. Let's not lament the migration to social media and theaters-as-content-distributors. Let's embrace it."
I'll cut to the chase: between 2003 and 2016, the amount of time that the average American devoted to reading for personal interest on a daily basis dropped from 0.36 hours to 0.29 hours. It would seem that reading in America has declined even further in the past decade. But statistics can be tricky, so let’s kick the tires a little.