History/Roots

What happened, and how - and why - we began this enterprise.

CVNC (originally Classical Voice of North Carolina) is modeled on San Francisco Classical Voice (SFCV), the founder of which was of immense value to us as we got off the ground.  We exist as a direct result of a decision in early 2001 by Spectator Magazine to abandon coverage of classical music, which had been in its pages since 1978. Spectator dropped classical a month to the day after the grand opening of Raleigh's Performing Arts Center, with three new halls, two of which were intended primarily for music (including opera) and dance. Within several months, Independent, the other "a&e" paper in the Triangle, asked its classical critics to abandon reviews in favor of "glitzy" previews.

A full discussion of why reviews and a decent calendar are important to artists and the community would consume all our space and more, but we'll take as a given the fact that readers of this document know, understand, and appreciate them. Since Indy's critics were every bit as serious as Spectator's writers had been, it didn't take us long to get together, and with a lot of encouragement from our former readers and presenters and a few key arts patrons, we decided to have something in place by the time the Fall 2001 season began, in order to fill the not-inconsiderable voids created by our former (commercial) employers.

We started on a hope and a prayer, with no capital, and with no real awareness of what we were getting into. It took about ten minutes to decide that CVNC, which the idea was to become, could NOT succeed in print (due to prohibitive costs of printing and distribution and administration and ad- or subscription sales), and that SFCV would serve as a viable model for us. Like SFCV, we began as a classical music platform, in our case named Classical Voice of North Carolina and serving just the Triangle region. After adding multiple artistic disciplines it became apparent that retaining the "classical" portion of the name made less and less sense, so as we approached our tenth anniversary we adopted just "CVNC."

Indeed, we perceived then and cling to the belief now that serious commentary on the arts - all the arts - will in time be found only online and in the commercial papers of our very largest cities.