The Beethoven Project – Part 1

By Sue Mutter:

I have a brand new idea for outreach – a completely different kind of vision, one that I believe could cause exponential growth in the number of classical music lovers in Detroit and surrounding areas.

I only wish I had implemented this when it first dawned on me 5 years ago, then perhaps the strike would not have ever happened, but perhaps it is not too late to try it. If we do this, and it works, one day people may be fighting for DSO tickets the way they do for sporting events and rock concerts.

The reason classical music is dying is not that it’s not great, it’s that we are exposing it people the wrong way. I remember vividly how I fell in love with classical music. I was probably 7 or so. Somehow I picked up a recording of Beethoven Sym No. 6 and listened to the first movement. I thought it was sort of nice so I listened to it again. I liked it better the 2nd time so I listened to it again and was surprised to find I liked it even more! So I listened every day and began to fall in love with every part of it. I couldn’t believe how great it was. I could sing along with every part of it and I began to know what was coming next. I was totally in love.

Then I began to get curious about the 2nd movement…if the first was so awesome – maybe the 2nd was also good? Soon I was enjoying it as well, then the other movements, then I began to listen to other Beethoven symphonies – perhaps they were good, too, I thought? Soon I was in love with all of them and began to wonder if Dvorak might also be good? Brahms? I was addicted. The connections were so strong to each as I listened repetitively that I just could not get enough – these pieces were treasures and I was discovering them!

Tomorrow I will describe how I propose we reach people with what I call – ‘The Beethoven Project’. Stay tuned.


Comments: 6

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  • John Griffin

    Sue, when you get a chance take a look at some of the CSO’s Beyond the Score concerts. I really like the combination of media, spoken word and powerful music.

  • Judy Moslak

    very intriguing Sue!
    I plan to stay tuned!

  • Sue Mutter

    Thank you everyone. There will be 6 parts – so please stay tuned. My hope is to open up an avenue for brainstorming…somehow we need to change what we are doing, in a big way, if we are going to change hearts and open then up to the power of classical music. If my idea might be a catalyst and the ideas of others also come forth…who knows what could happen?

  • Brenda Freedland..

    A bit of this, a bit of Bernstein’s “Young People’s Concerts”, a bit of Thomas Wilkens, the Beethoven Project sounds wonderful.

  • Carolyn Goldstein

    I have done a lot of PR in Classical Music and other genre, successfully. Exposure is the key. You are right.

  • Mark Abbott

    Awesome sue, I look forward to your ideas.

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