Nothing could sum up the overall career of the pianist, Van Cliburn, who died the other day at 78, than the remark he made after being showered with confetti during a parade down Broadway in New York, following his win at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in 1958. He said, modestly, "how wonderful it was that so many people were cheering Classical Music."
Could that happen, today? Do American still cheer Classical Music? Do we care when an American musician wins an international competition? Or, does it even matter if they are American, now in this global age?
Suggestion: "google" international music competitions and see who the winners are. Suggest to your local non-profit music associations that they should engage these artists while they are still affordable. That's how my hometown became acquainted with the violinist, Augustin Haedelich, at a museum concert, following his winning of the Indianapolis Violin Competition several years ago. He has returned to play with the Symphony 3 times since. Let's encourage them in every way.