I just read a post on On An Overgrown Path concerning the fact that wealthy people who sit on boards of major music festivals are the people calling the shots about the future of "classical" music.
I can only quote Captain Renault:
Rich people who love music have ALWAYS been the reason that "classical music" institutions survive. When I was young I used to distrust them, but now that I see things in a much broader historical way, I understand that the only reason that music and art continue to be made available to people who don't have large amounts of money is through the generosity (or obsessive love) of those who do.
Some of us who believe in social justice observe that some of the people who love music as much as we musicians want to play it (and write it) are of a very different kind of political mind. Sometimes that different kind of political mind is one that acts exploitatively and manipulates politicians.
The only solace we have is that this kind of thing has gone on since the Renaissance. The music and art survives, though. And it still will, as long as there are people who have both money and taste.
One big problem that we face is that often times people who have extreme wealth lack taste. This happens among people who don't have wealth as well. Money can't buy taste. Unfortunately. It can buy instruments, excellent instruction, and even influential friends, but it can't buy talent.
So the future of classical music is like a volleyball passed between people of serious financial means who love music deeply, and those that have personal preferences that may not have much to do with anything that lies below the surface of the combination of good looks, a flashy (and reliable) technique, and stage presence (in composers as well as in performing musicians).
I know that as a working musician (performing and writing), who is not of the flashy ilk, it is not likely that I will see vast sums of cash and support come my way (miracles can happen, but I'm not holding my breath). But I do know that if a "culture maker" were to ask me for something and reward me with exposure, press, accolades, and money, I would probably do my best to deliver whatever it is they ask of me.
That is the tradition of "classical music." It always has been, and I believe it always will be.