10 Things to tell a Classical Music Snob

  1. People should never be made to feel bad about about what they are listening to. People who feel bad about their listening habits will stop listening altogether.
  2. Snobbery leads to pretension and pretension leads to exclusivity, clubs and cliques. Not helpful at a time when we should be encouraging people to come to classical concerts.
  3. Get over the whole “genre thing”: it’s ok to say you don’t like Stockhausen, Cage, Birtwistle, Ligetti, Glass et al
  4. Just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s all bad (though I would draw the line at anything by Einaudi or Karl Jenkins…..)
  5. Don’t blind the layman with obscure/incomprehensible classical music terminology. You want him to come to the next performance, right?
  6. You’re not the only person in the world who frequents the Wigmore Hall/Concertgebouw/Musikverein/Carnegie Hall
  7. Not everyone likes Wagner. Or Mahler. But the sky’s not going to fall in because of this. Get over it.
  8. Don’t moan about Radio Three being “better in the old days”.
  9. You don’t have to be serious about something to be serious about something.
  10. Don’t ever call a conductor ‘Maestro’

[this post was inspired by a longer article 30 things to tell a book snob]


  1. I’m not clear on whether you consider Karl Jenkins good or bad. 🙂 I quite like what I know of his works, myself. But aside from this, I agree with your article!

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