You Should Give a F*ck about Classical Music [Quorum Feature]

The co-hosts of the new podcast Impolite to Listen join Quorum to set the record straight on classical music, its critics, their “attitude” issues, and of course, coffee. 

Welcome Chris & Sridhar, so how do you take your coffee? 

We take our coffee differently but the goal is the same. I (Sridhar) prefer 2 to 4 espresso shots in the morning or if I’m drinking straight coffee I’ll add a little honey. I’m not a coffee snob–I like my coffee strong and a whole lot of it. 

Coffee is Chris’ religion. Two cups every morning. Don’t mess with perfection. 

What’s your “best” coffee story?

I (Chris) love the myriad coffee subcultures all around the world. A few years back I was with some friends in Rome, and we arrived early to visit the Coliseum. When we arrived we realized we had an hour to kill before we could get in…so we did a coffee shop progressive. We must’ve had 5 espressos from several local coffee shops. It was great. One thing I realized is that, while the Coliseum is an historical site, it has incredibly new bathrooms. On that day I was very thankful for a touch of modernity. “You only rent coffee” was an apt quote for the day. 

How did you choose the name Impolite to Listen? Are you rude or something?

Sure, we’re rude–but only when we ought to be. The podcast comes off as two classical music enthusiasts chatting at a coffee shop. Isn’t it a little rude to eavesdrop on us? 

What excites you about classical music? 

We’re not interested in classical music, we’re interested in good music just like everyone else. “Classical” music has proven staying power that’s a reflection of its quality. And when you think about it, all music becomes classical if endures long enough. 

Some people say classical music is boring. Why are they wrong? 

They’re wrong only as much as performers prove them wrong. I’m often bored by classical music too. Think about this…to walk on stage, pretend the audience doesn’t exist, play the music and leave gets boring to listeners. The number of recordings I start and stop 30 seconds in is greater than the number I listen through. 

What makes good art…and good classical music not boring is context. Think about a museum curator explaining the life and pursuits of Monét when you’re viewing one of his masterpieces. Paintings take on new meanings beyond just a literal flower, hillside, or sunset. 

Word to the classical music industry: own up to engaging listeners. Write better program notes, engage audiences where they are, speak to audiences like their humans in the room with you. And make the concert experience a little more engaging too. 

What does your podcast cover and what would you say makes it unique and enjoyable?

We’re the Car Talk of classical music. Impolite to Listen creates deep and interesting conversations about classical music approachable and digestible. It’s the conversational approach to classical music that makes us unique…we hope. And we’re funny people too. 

What’s one thing people just hearing about Impolite to Listen should know?

Classical music taken out of the ivory tower and into the town square.

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