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December 29, 2009

Is High Culture making a comeback in 2010?

ENTERTAINMENT - In a world of breast implants, Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton is it at all surprising that people might start to reject the two-faced bloated consumer culture that has pervaded for the last couple decades?

Seriously, we may be looking at a huge cultural shift... classical music sales are up, especially for digital downloads/sales.

Part of it could be because retro music is hip, but there is a huge thirst now for classical music. Even small orchestras are seeing an increase in interest. (Check out Mooredale Concerts in Toronto).

Opera is seeing a similar increase.

As is ballet performances (see the Ballet Creole in Toronto), some more traditional and others alternative.

And even art galleries are seeing bumper crops of crowds.

Part of the reason might be because high culture is being reinvented a bit, with classical music being played on new instruments never used before, used as background music for video games (because there's no copyright on classical music), classical music mp3s can be downloaded for free without any fear of copyright infringement, Susan Boyle and other pseudo-celebrities bringing opera back to the forefront.

At least so far as 2009 is concerned high culture has made a small comeback... so I am willing to bet (because these trends aren't likely to change quickly) we will see more of the same in 2010.

In this new era of iTunes, YouTube and online art galleries we can expect classical music / ballet / art galleries to make a bigger impact, and presumably get more people out from behind their computer monitors and out for a night on the town.

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