ARTS & SOCIETY FORUM: At one time, classical music was rigorously defended – both by the sector and within wider society – because of its unique stature as the epitome of the European music tradition and its alignment with Enlightenment ideals. But who defends classical music today? Should it be defended? Is it time to shake up the genre, make it more accessible, and embrace the sentiment of John Gilhooly, director of Wigmore Hall who says, “In many ways all this is a purification, a chance to start again.” Or is there something intrinsic to the genre that we should seek to preserve? Do we still believe in the transcendental qualities of high art and the concept of art for arts’ sake? Should we defend our traditions or embrace the new normal and move with the times? Gabriella Swallow, Stephen Johnson, Ivan Hewett and Dolan Cummings discuss.