I have always had friends who were a great deal older than me. Actually, I found that when I was growing up I had more to talk about with people in my parents' generation than with people in my own generation. Sometimes talking with really old people--people who were from my grandparents' generation--was interesting, but my relationships with people born in the first decade of the 20th century seemed mostly like the exchange of information rather than an exchange of ideas. There was, I suppose, far too much distance between me and most of them, both in time and in culture.
I still feel a great connection with music lovers and musicians who were born between the 1920s and the 1940s. Many of my musical friends who are now in their 70s and 80s are forward-thinking and generous. Many have learned to adjust to progress, and until recently, with the flowering of so many ways to communicate (and the all-too-fast development of tools that become obsolete before most people learn to use them), many have done their best to keep up to date. There are also a whole host of happy older adults who have no interest in using a computer, or even a DVD player, for that matter.
These are the people attached to the "grey heads" that make up the larger portion of the audience for classical music. Why people who write about the economic state of "classical music" (again, as an institution, which it isn't) think that there is something wrong with concerts catering to an older audience is baffling to me.
Everyone's hair turns grey eventually (unless they lose it first), and people use different parts of their lives to explore different pleasures. Many people come to like classical music later in life, and many people who come to like classical music later in life really like it, and they want to go to good concerts and buy good recordings.
With good fortune, those of us who are still in young or middle adulthood will live to a nice old age and will have the time to go to a lot of concerts. I think it is time to celebrate that fact that older (and wiser) people choose to spend their time in the company of emotionally- and intellectually-challenging music, and we need to take their needs into consideration. They are, after all, members of the largest-growing segment of the population.