All the world, iTunes tells us, is a song. But if one-size-fits-all digital platforms can't distinguish among a symphony, a raga and "Eleanor Rigby," the real world sometimes has the opposite problem.
Although song form lies at the heart of popular culture, art songs have become box-office horror. Singers still sing them and record them. Composers still write them. But the song recital is a barely viable thing, and institutions wonder what to do.
SongFest celebrates its 20th anniversary in June with a month-long training program and concerts at the Colburn School in hopes of inspiring young singers to protect and repopulate an endangered species.