Rethinking Live Classical Music

A call to rethink live classical music

Present! – Rethinking Live Classical Music by Johan Idema is a call to rethink live classical music. To do so, the book presents a unique and inspiring selection of more than 40 cases from international pioneers – composers, performers, directors, and presenters – who are reinvigorating the classical music concert. Together, their practices form the undeniable proof that we can make live classical music more exciting, relevant and approachable by rethinking how we present the music. Everyone who is serious about the future of classical music should read this book.

Arts budget cuts and a decline in attendance for classical concerts across the world create an urgent need for innovation. ”Present!“ is a testimony to the idea that brilliantly performed classical music and rapt audiences are also possible, often even more so, outside of conventional forums and formats.

The book includes known, but also lesser-known cases such as Nachtmusik (Radialsystem V), Swelter (Make Music New York), Mail from Mozart (Netherlands Wind Ensemble), Small Mass (Nico and the Navigators), Night of the Unexpected (Paradiso), Water Music (West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra) and Lecture Songs (B’Rock). The foreword is written by the prolific cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht.