In my opinion, here are the two reasons classical music is dying.
- IT'S BORING
It might be time for us to go back to the old tradition of having different music formations play in a single concert, and time to consistently include visual effects (beyond a projection of a different art piece for each piece). Keeping people wondering what's gonna happen next is key. It might be as simple as having a conductor tell anecdotes about the composer, the piece, or even better, the rehearsal process (NOT for education purposes but for entertainment purposes).
Again, we can argue all day long that we would be killing the true spirit of classical music as an art form, but not acknowledging the needs of the audience of today is ultimately what will kill the art form. If you don't believe me, look at the success of the Three Pianists, which did exactly what I'm talking about in terms of making classical music fun and not boring.
- IT'S SNOOTY
Even if people are educated and know those rules, in today's world, they just don't work. It's time to go back to what classical concerts were for so many centuries, and allow people to talk, wear what they want, move around and clap whenever they like.
Sure, artists are gonna have to adjust, but it makes more sense to ask the professionals to be flexible rather than an entire audience.
The issue of classical music right now is that it is caught in a problem that it has created for itself in the name of philosophical ideology: how to gain audience members while maintaining our own rules and refusing to give the audience what they want.
Picture from http://corporatetalker.wordpress.com/2008/07/