"The American classical-recording industry is in big trouble. The crisis has been building quietly for nearly a decade, as Mozart and Bach have lost ground steadily to [pop names redacted].... [During decade X] serious music was plummeting from 12 percent of the market in [year redacted] to a low of less than 5 percent—and it is falling. [Name redacted] predicts that 'there will be a total collapse of the American classical-recording system within five years unless someone figures out a more economic one.' Falling sales percentages reflect the story of youth turned off by the concert hall's irrelevance, a shrinking number of serious-record stores, a union that has almost priced orchestras out of the market, radio stations dominated by pop releases, a record-buying public that responds to a few glittering names, a repertory glutted by old war-horses.... [Label name redacted] has been reducing its releases, from 111 in [redacted] to 70 in [redacted]. Only about 60 [name redacted] records — close to half [its] annual output — contain newly released material.... Perhaps five [label] releases break even in their first year.... Many important records now sell 4,000 a year where they once would have reached 7,000 or 8,000.... 'The people who make money in this business can be counted on the fingers of one hand.'.... [Best-selling budget-label orchestra X] owes its good fortune to the combination of subsidy from its board and a special dispensation from the musicians' union.... Americans are convinced the foreigners will never recoup their investment.... 'getting across to the kids'.... exposed breast.... nude blonde.... None of these marketing ploys looks like a real solution to the accelerating plunge in sales of classical records... There exists a primal apathy toward classical music in America — on the part of buyer and seller alike.... Only so many Beethoven Fifths can be absorbed. In [year redacted] the public seems to be absorbing less and less of anything classical."
Hint: I was two.
Anyone who correctly guesses which avant-garde composer committed suicide in a fit of cultural despair on the very day the above article appeared will win a miniature score of Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto, an extra copy of which I bought in a moment of absent-mindedness. — Alex
Update: Fifteen minutes after the above was posted (around midnight), we have a winner: David Hanlon. Yes, the year is 1970, the date is Aug. 10, the composer is Bernd Alois Zimmermann. The article, unsigned, comes from Newsweek.