Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Subsidization of Classical Music Concerts and the Piper

"Since 1938, a rarefied New York cultural experience -
concerts at the Frick Collection - has been free.
No more. Despite a mini-trend of free or low-cost
performances in the city, the collection will charge $20
a ticket. The Frick, which has an endowment in excess
of $200 million, said it can no longer afford to subsidize
the concerts completely. ... Tickets at another major
museum concert series, at the Metropolitan Museum
of Art, run from $25 to $70."

Daniel J. Wakin, The New York Times, June 30, 2005.


Comment: While I feel sorry for those younger
(or older) people, who in many cases are truly
poor in big or expensive cities like New York,
San Francisco, or Washington due to unemployment,
illness, or other bad fortune, I imagine that other
patrons will take this new development with understanding.
And I would hope those of us who have been the beneficiaries
of free concerts over the years and who can now afford to
do so, will now reach into our wallets and freely donate that
$15, $20, or $10 when a chamber event is free, but a
donation box is available at the door. A fine cultural
experience is indeed worth the price of a pound of
flounder or a moderately inexpensive bottle of California
wine. Don't you agree?

(Sorry Starbucks, but despite your ice-cream promotion,
we Americans have resolved to start saving money and start
supporting, to a much greater extent, live musical and other
cultural events.)


Image of Pieter Bruegel the Elder's (active 1551-1569)
"The Three Soldiers", from the Frick Collection:


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