I'm among the youngest people in the audience and that classical music is becoming an increasingly irrelevant art form in popular culture and I suspect the traditional ways (and hence economically inefficient way in our current environment) of presenting and composing classical music is being subsidised.
It's propping up something that is unsustainable if it was exposed to market forces and preventing innovation
Now there is a risk that if all the government money to classical ceased and this results in classical music dying. However I'm of the belief that tradition should only be preserved when individuals who support the traditions try to preserve it and persuade other people to preserve it voluntarily. If classical music dies well the people have spoken and decided it isn't worth saving and you have to respect the wish of the public(similarly to how people respect the election results when your side doesn't win). It had a good life. If classical music dies it will not affect my personal enjoyment of the genre.
If this was defunded perhaps all the standard orchestra will become bankrupt and closed down and initially this will be a disaster. Then private investors who have passion for music will take over and they will have to present music in a way that will make them money
THis will go back to the good old days where composers had to make a living by appealing to the public or private patrons to survive. Rather nowadays government money is given to academics and institutions who then hand out grants. We have musicians selling directly to the public.
Who knows what will happen and what innovations will result
Perhaps we will have string quartet be microphone up playing Shostakovich or Beethoven rhythmic energetic pieces and turn the volume to similar dB as a rock concert and having people moshing and headbanging to the music when the COVID-19 pandemic is over (some people argue that watching a live performance in person is better than studio. However I never heard a string quartet live performance to be superior to listening to a recording blasting out the piece from my speaker loud enough to wake up other people in the house).
Perhaps we have composers writing pieces with pop singers.
Perhaps we have composers writing pieces designed to be performed in nightclubs
Perhaps someone will compose an opera starring Bob Dylan, Kanye West and Taylor Swift.
Perhaps someone will perform baroque dance suites in dance halls and have people actually dance to it.
Or perhaps it's just the same concert but less formality and less strict etiquette (such as encouraging people to applaud in between music)
You may agree or disagree with any of the suggestions and I don't know what is the answer to make classical music popular but that's the point of subjecting it to market forces as it would create its own answer. However it seems to me it's the case of innovate or die and getting rid of the safety net will speed up either the death or the innovation.
Part of any surviving genre of music is that people have to be excited about new compositions and pieces of music. If the only thing people are interested in is to hear old music then the genre is essentially dead
I feel that as long as you have an academic institution being the gatekeeper of what is performed this will always be a barrier because what they like does not equal to what is popular. You need an environment where the art form is considered a popular art for the overlooked genius composer to create their own foothold and be remembered in future generation. Mozart/Beethoven and Bach may not have been the most popular composers of their time, however they exist in a period of time where it was a popular art and was supported by the cultural and economic environment.
What pisses me off is listening to modern classical composers in a concert (who are often in the audience when their music is being premiered) writing modernistic pieces that the audience hates and at best the audience politely applaud them. They go off feeling they have achieved something and get a paycheck and their music never gets played again (I have at times had a strong desire to boo the composers). Who cares that no one likes the piece and never performed again as long as the academic and other composers/musicians approved the piece.
I would love to see what would result if classical composers solely rely on market forces and how they will adapt to the changing environment. Their goals instead of writing their masterpiece (in their head), it is to sell records. If the audience doesn't want their product then they will starve and have to find a new job. I feel that they are being artificially propped up by people wanting to "conserve the arts". By defunding classical music, compositional teachers have to focus on techniques that are more likely to make money (aka ignore serialism ).