Originally Posted by mbhaub
This is so true. It used to be that many of the musicians in Asian orchestras were from America and Europe, but no longer. Last year I heard the China Philharmonic on tour playing the daylights out the Brahm Quartet arrangement by Schoenberg -- the strings were dazzling. The winds less so. No one would mistake the orchestra for Cleveland, London, Pittsburgh or other top-notch ensembles, but when you consider how little time has elapsed since western music has been allowed in that country, the gains are remarkable.
But even more important are the audiences in Asia: people there can't seem to get enough of western classical music. They pack the halls, buy recordings, and more importantly, they know and enjoy the music. They're passionate about it. Not so in the US, at least in most places, where orchestras often play to half-empty halls, and many audience members have no idea what they're hearing. It's a cultural thing. The Asian people work hard, and want to excell at everything. So many of the top new talent in violin, piano and even conducting are Asian. Is it possible that when the western classical tradition dies in the US and Europe, that it will be the Asian countries that keep it alive?