No, Greg Sandow, there is nothing good or constructive about another (another!) classical music manifesto. The time that Ken Nielsen spent thinking about and writing it, and that you spent blogging about it, was time lost forever to music making. Lists of assertions are no less tiresome if the subject is classical music than if it’s Tea Party fantasies and demands.
What classical music needs is classical music, nothing more. As evidence, packed and incredibly enthusiastic audiences this past year for Kaaija Saariaho, Helmut Lachenmann, the Feldman String Quartet #2 at the new Issue Project Room space, Ligeti and Varèse at Lincoln Center and Xenakis seemingly everywhere. After 600 years of classical music, there is a glut of great pieces, just present an evolving variety of them in concert. That’s it.
Of course this is simplistic, but really, the quality and variety of the selection matters. And Xenakis and Beethoven are in no way enemies. That content matters has been proved by how successfully classical organizations have made use of digital media. Leave manifestos to businessmen and politicians, who by their nature lack the intelligence and imagination to do anything without guidelines.