[Note: This post has been updated (1) as of 4:53 PM Eastern on 1 Jun. See below.]
I don't know quite what to make of this should-be-heartening article by Allan Kozinn for The New York Times. In it, Mr. Kozinn, by means of statistical argument, confidently sets about laying to waste the numerous and manifold reports of classical music's imminent demise in our culture. His conclusion that classical music today is alive, well, and kicking, however, seems to have about it a nagging and persistent aura of disconnect with experienced reality. Statistical arguments notwithstanding, it's manifestly clear as a matter of everyday experience on all fronts that classical music is today more marginalized in our mainstream culture than it's ever been since, say, the turn of the last century; so much so that ignorance of classical music and everything connected with it has become a matter of indifference, or even of some bourgeois and populist pride, rather than embarrassment or shame.
I suspect the fundamental flaw in Mr. Kozinn's conclusion — and fundamentally flawed I'm certain it is even though I can't offer any hard-fact argument against it — is the methodology that produced that conclusion, and upon which it ultimately depends: statistical reasoning. Let us, therefore, not take too much if any heart in Mr. Kozinn's thesis, and never forget Disraeli's (in)famous but sage dictum: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
Update (4:53 PM Eastern on 1 Jun): More here.