2016 Trends in Classical Music

classical musicWhat’s been happening with classical music this year? Here are a few trends we’ve noticed so far in 2016.

Orchestras embrace film screening

Film screenings with live orchestra accompaniment — a trend that has been developing for several years — have peaked in 2016. The technology, which involves stripping the original score from the soundtrack, is improving as more productions hit the touring circuit. As evidence of the trend, the New York Philharmonic added two films to its spring schedule — “Fantasia” and Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights” — following its ongoing Art of the Score series.

Music streaming services get more classical-friendly

After years of criticism about its confusing presentation of classical music on iTunes (and more recently, Apple Music), Apple released an update in December for the OS X version of its software to address metadata issues. Some inconsistencies still linger, but the revamped layouts for pieces, composers and performers are a welcome step. Rumored next are enhancements in Apple Music’s audio stream quality.

Orchestras and opera houses target under-40 crowds

Opera companies and orchestras have increasingly marketing themselves to people in their 20s and 30s as the place for a swanky night out, offering discounts and other enticements.

Big Anniversaries

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, composer anniversaries are always a big programming hook. The year 2016 brought us the 150th birth anniversary of French composer Erik Satie (May 17, 2016) and the centennial of Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera’s birth (April 11, 2016). Both are opportunities to get to known unsung corners of their catalogs. Other anniversaries to watch for: Serge Prokofiev (125),Henri Dutilleux (100), Ferruccio Busoni (150) and William Shakespeare (400th of his death).

What trends have you noticed this year in classical music?