Jutta Toelle

Published On


Page Range

pp. 191–204


  • English

Print Length

14 pages

10. Is It Time for Brahms, Again?

The Many Roles of Classical Music in the German-Speaking Lands in 2023

The essay focuses on classical music practices in the German-speaking world. Several big questions are addressed, such as the age group of audiences and the seemingly old-fashioned canonic repertory. These two issues, coupled with the high subsidies that classical music receives, makes the classical music practices vulnerable. In addition, pressure is increasing as many concert halls and theatres are awaiting overdue renovation work which turns out to be extremely costly. Within this setting, non-institutionalised classical music performers are having an easy game, as they address diverse audiences, perform diverse musics, and are not subsidized. While the challenge for the traditional institutions is immense, the knowledge that classical music practices can play many different roles in a society makes the discussions exciting and future-proof.


Jutta Toelle

Professor of Applied Musicology at Gustav Mahler Privatuniversität für Musik

Jutta Toelle researches all aspects of a musical performance: musicians, audiences and the experience of live music and is Professor of Applied Musicology at the Gustav Mahler Private University of Music in Klagenfurt. She studied musicology and history in Berlin and Venice and did her doctorate at the Chair of Sociology of Music at Humboldt University Berlin (about the eocnomic and social foundations of the late 19th century Italian opera industry). She was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago (2012/13) and a PostDoc at the Music Department of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt am Main (2013-2019).