At the opening of this rich weekend of new music, this debate centres on what to cherish from tradition and what truly represents a brave new world - and how we best cultivate intelligent broad-minded students, listeners and practitioners for our music-making.
Few contestants on University Challenge can answer questions on classical music. Writing about classical and contemporary music seems to be disappearing from newspapers. This debate asks - is the classical canon no longer at the heart of learning and culture?
Lecturers complain that students know a little about too many things. Are we heading for a fragmented, dumbed-down 3 minute culture or - on the other hand - are there substantial new literacies and new audiences emerging, out of plurality and new technology?
The debate features contributions by writers Mark Ravenhill and Paul Morley and composer Richard Causton. It is introduced by Southbank Centre's Head of Classical Music, Gillian Moore, and chaired by Peter Wiegold.
The debate is co-hosted by Southbank Centre and the Brunel Institute of Composing, a new think-tank for contemporary music-making directed by Peter Wiegold and John Woolrich.