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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

New study of Norwegian university students shows marked decline in arts interest and knowledge

By John Terauds on November 29, 2011

Photo of the National Theatre in Bergen, Norway.

Because I’m in the second and final week of trying to decide my future (well-paid business reporter vs impoverished arts blogger), I’ve been hyper-sensitive to every sign and nuance in the world around me.

I’d never truly worried about the future of theatre or opera or literature or classical music or jazz until now. But when mainstream media stops paying attention, you really have to start thinking.

I phoned an author friend two weeks ago to wish him a happy 80th birthday. In our chat, a man who can quote Jane Austen and Victorian poets drunk or sober mentioned how he has stopped reading fiction, because it didn’t interest him anymore.

This morning, I read a look at a new study from Norway, that compared attitudes towards culture in 1998 and 2008. The results are downright scary, showing that everything outside popular culture is steadily fading from young people’s consciousness, except among those people who were raised in highly culturally connected households.

You can read the article at Miller-McCune, here, and the abstract from the study here.

This probably means that we have to organize a new kind of evangelism. But what form should it take?

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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