News from South London, England recently highlighted an outstanding composer who is doing a tremendous service for classical music. Roxanna Panufnik was recently named the first associate composer of the resident orchestra in Croydon, a town in South London. British with Polish ancestry, she is an incredibly accomplished composer whose works have been premiered across the globe.
Panufnik understands very well the power of music for communication. Facing declining audiences and stagnant interest, there is no good reason that classical musicians shouldn’t harness that power to transcend the old institutional ideas of what classical music is… to break “smash stereotypes…” and reach out to under-served listeners.
“We want to be able to introduce people from other cultures, ages and communities to music, and put Croydon on the cultural map,” she said.
“A lot can be done through music to create bridges between cultures. Croydon is a fantastic place with an amazing wealth of different communities and cultures who may not feel represented on the concert stage…”
“…People are very scared where they hear the words ‘modern’ and ‘classical music’ in the same sentence. They assume it will be an assault on the ears,” she added.
There are people waiting for classical music to reach out. As Panufnik says: “Classical music is not for a minority – it’s for everybody.”