The Times Magazine has a piece today on the lightning-fast world of political blogging. That’s nothing next to the speedfreak intensity of the classical blogosphere (blögôsphère), where, if you don’t respond within seconds to a hot Glenn Petry press release or ArtsJournal posting, you’re left gasping in the dust. That’s what happened to me when Sandow jumped all over the news that the Toronto Symphony has decided to ghetto-ize new-music programming in an annual festival format. You snooze, you lose. Damn you, Sandow! (Irony now ending.) I half-agree with the Sandow take on this — not to condemn the action but to praise it (kind of). As long as orchestras are doing something for composers, I’m happy, and maybe Toronto has seen the future. Classical music has at least two potential audiences — the extant subscriber public, which wants nineteenth-century concertos and symphonies, and a younger crowd, who’d theoretically like a mix of old and new. The institution of the subscription-series premiere long ago turned into a ghastly ritual, generating reams of five- and twenty-minute pieces that served no vital function. Only a few composers are capable of making subscribers happy; John Adams can write only so much. And even he gets dyspeptic reactions from the Philharmorons. If the practice of squirreling premieres in the regular season could be replaced with vigorously marketed new-music festivals, catering to a different audience altogether, cool. But I’m skeptical that orchestras have the will or savvy to pull it off. The unions would probably find a way to quash the concept before it got off the drawing board. Hasn’t this already been tried, q. v. Boulez’s pseudo-psychedelic Rug Concerts? Let’s see what happens in Toronto.