A New Move for Classical Music
The blending of musical styles is nothing new. At the turn of the last century the move by classical composers such as Debussy to explore world music is well documented. Bartok used folk music as inspiration for numerous pieces. Previous posts have discussed the blending of styles of numerous other forms with classical music.
It seems the tide is now moving the other direction as India is exploring the fusion of Indian folk and Western Classical music with a collaboration at the World Day of Music on 21 June. China has recently had the LA Philharmonic and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra touring their country bringing Western music to nearly every region of China in the urge to encourage more exploration of Western music by Chinese composers (especially with the popularity of Tan Dun world wide). A Beethoven String Competition in Bangkok is hoping to merge Western music with that of Thailand. And some musicians in New York are blending Bach into their sets at the JVC Jazz Festival.
IMHO we're on the verge of a new explosion in music - the form will be a blending of styles, where popular/folk tunes are given longer renditions, but still retain much of their popular feel. But classical music techniques are going to be necessary in order to achieve this new extension of pop music. The next 20 years should be very interesting in terms of a new wave of classical music. The only question remaining is whether the Euro/American classical world is ready for it...