The future of classical music is almost universally thought bleak. Attendance figures are dropping, and some even question whether it is possible to write new classical music that concertgoers will be able to appreciate. This essay locates the origins of such doomsday prophecy in unquestioned assumptions and seeks to establish just the opposite: that classical music is alive and vibrant, that new creative horizons are constantly opening up, and that audiences will actually enjoy many contemporary classical compositions. The key is to present these unfamiliar works as they are understood by their composers: in a context that allows listeners to make connections between the familiar and unfamiliar, opening their minds to a wealth of new human experience.

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