Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Restructuring Classical Music

How can classical music be restructured while still retaining the core of what we love about its repertoire and our ability to share it with audiences, while coming up with ways of making it financially viable.

2020 - 2024

Classical music in the United States has been declining since the 1960s when  the Ford Foundation funded orchestras during a time when great classical artists like Heifetz, Bernstein and Stravinsky were household names.

Today, classical music has moved almost completely out of public awareness and we now have the phenomenon where wealthy contributors donate to the New York Philharmonic, but their concerts are filled with empty seats. Professional orchestras have declined in number, yet our colleges of music continue to graduate roughly 15,000 music performance majors annually, preparing them for orchestra jobs that virtually do not exist.

This dissertation will come up with models and methodologies that will preserve the availability of great classics while developing and proving in performance solutions to these problems, including addressing the Baumol Syndrome and Rightsizing, The Brooklyn Model and Extreme Scoring. These will address many of the economic, ethical, mainstream and compositional issues facing classical music.


  • Prof.dr. M.A. Cobussen
  • Dr. J. Wentz
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