“It’s not the music that needs to change, it’s the culture”
The fine arts are having a tough time attracting a younger audience. Lærke Mogensen, President of CBS Culture has an idea why. At Folkemødet, she shared her thoughts and challenged the directors of concert halls and Danish symphony orchestras in a panel debate, which resulted in collaboration on the shaping of DR Koncerthuset’s forthcoming program.
When CBS student Lærke Mogensen was a kid, she did ballet. Through that she became familiar with classical music and has engaged with its many forms and facets throughout her life. But still, the fine arts and classical music can be somewhat difficult to grasp.
“I have no deeper knowledge about fine arts or classical music whatsoever. I just like to listen to it. And I think a lot of people think the same, but still it’s a culture that can feel a bit out of reach. And that’s a shame,” says Lærke Mogensen, the President of CBS Culture when CBS WIRE meets her before the debate at Folkemødet.
Together, with three students from other universities, she challenged directors and musicians from the Danish concert halls and symphony orchestras in a debate hosted by the Danish Composers’ Society on how to make fine arts – and especially classical music – interesting for a younger audience.
“Some of the people I’ve talked to from the industry argue that they have to perform new music. But what is new music? It’s not Mozart, so what is it?” asks Lærke Mogensen and continues:
“Instead, I think they should think about what they want to do for the younger audience. According to CBS Culture’s survey of CBS students, the young audience doesn’t attend fine arts events because they would often face going alone. They need a community and friends with whom they can attend the events. We have a community like this at CBS. But what about the audience outside CBS?” she says.
Changes are on their way
Lærke Mogensen became part of the panel because a friend of hers forwarded an invitation from the Danish Composers’ Society, which was looking for young panelists with an opinion about fine arts and classical music. As there was only place left, Lærke Mogensen was quick to apply.
“I was actually a little worried when I applied that I would pull down the level of the debate, as I can’t talk about acts and arias and don’t play an instrument. But then again, it’s people like me that they actually want to reach. The kind of people with an interest in and fondness for classical music, but with no deeper knowledge of its history,” she says.
For a long time, Lærke Mogensen was alone in her liking for classical music, and it wasn’t until her mid- to late-twenties that she opened up about it.
“I started to share on social media whenever I attended different events, and all of a sudden I realized that I had friends who liked classical music too. One even likes opera,” she says and explains that she loves to listen to the music from the musical Carmen and is especially fond of string instruments.
I don’t know how to play a string instrument myself, but I find them deeply fascinating. They stir up so many different feelingsLærke Mogensen
“I don’t know how to play a string instrument myself, but I find them deeply fascinating. They stir up so many different feelings. And then there’s the whole technical aspect of the instruments too,” she says.
Lærke Mogensen hopes that the concert halls and the symphony orchestras in future will create a space or community for the younger audience around music and events. Just like CBS Culture.
“It’s not the music that needs to change, it’s the culture,” she says.
And things seem to be changing sooner rather than later. After the debate, Lærke Mogensen sent a text saying:
“Three other students and I have been invited to take part in the shaping of DR Koncerthuset’s forthcoming program. Furthermore, there was huge interest in making a case competition between CBS Culture and Koncerthuset.”