I read an intriguing interview (through the Seattle Weekly online via The Rest is Noise) of Joshua Roman, 23-year-old principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony. I think Delia knows him somehow, she's mentioned him before. Anyway, he mentions that he'd like to do away with some of the conventions of classical music, because, as I've always maintained, once people actually listen to the music itself, they'll like it; it's just the trappings and the reputation that keep people away. It's not the music itself, which people simply aren't familiar with, and it's not, as some people would argue, the price--look how much people spend on tickets (and food and beer etc) at ball games. I agree with Alex Ross that men should wear all black, that tuxes are pretentious (and not practical to play in--I don't know how men put up with bow ties and stiff jackets). Plus, it would create more gender equality, even if only on a very superficial level.
Joshua Roman sounds very interesting, and frighteningly talented. He makes some good points. It is difficult not to get bogged down in excerpts when "JOB JOB JOB" keeps hammering your brain. It's also easy for him to say not to worry about getting a job--he has one! It's essential to develop all aspects of your musicianship, but more importantly, your humanity. We forget that sometimes. And for musicians our age, learning to play our music in different environments is also extrememly important, since drawing new audiences is crucial to our survival.