Is L.A. in a Classical Music Bubble?


With all the triumphs in L.A. with the Master Chorale, the LA Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Opera Mark Swed, in a piece from last week, asks:

Does all this mean that L.A. is in some kind of uncanny classical music bubble?

That’s in contrast to the current Minnesota Orchestra and New York City Opera issues.  The LA Phil in particular seems to be doing many of the “right” things but as Swed states

These are not easy times for anyone in the arts. Even as the L.A. Phil rides high, it no longer automatically sells out Disney. Subscriptions, which all American orchestras rely upon, are becoming less popular as the public becomes less inclined to make long-range commitments. Ticket prices ($200 tops at the L.A. Phil, with little below $50) are way too high. Players can no longer assume that they will have the generous salaries and benefits many now enjoy. Overhead, and not just at Carnegie, is a problem.

At what point is an industry a bubble or in crisis?  Doesn’t really seem as if anyone has a clear idea of either (as much as some may claim it) but we do seem to miss all the success stories for all the stories of failure.

Read the full piece here:,0,6125581,full.story

2 thoughts on “Is L.A. in a Classical Music Bubble?

    1. I remember reading one study that showed that before government regulation, economic bubbles happened with startling frequency and regularity. It would seem to be the normal state of things when markets are allowed to operate on their own, for good or ill.


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